Toulouse FC enters takeover talks with US investment firm RedBird

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Toulouse Football Club and RedBird Capital Partners have entered talks over a potential takeover of Ligue 2 side, with the principal investment firm looking to finalise an 85 per cent purchase of the club.

RedBird’s investment partners include Major League Baseball’s (MLB) and the National Football League’s (NFL) player associations to create One Team Partners, a firm designed to enhance athlete values through name, image and likeness rights. Moreover, RedBird has invested in US sports network YES Media, which has exclusive local TV rights to the New York Yankees, the Brooklyn Nets, MLS’s New York City FC and more.

Toulouse FC owner Olivier Sadran stated: “I am convinced that RedBird Capital Partners has the skills and resources necessary to allow the Toulouse Football Club to return to the elite of French football while respecting our values ​​of citizenship and involvement in the local economic fabric. I am keen to retain a minority stake, because I am from Toulouse by birth and as such I feel responsible for the Toulouse Football Club which can always count on my passion and my support.”

As Sadran alluded to, if the deal is finalised then the Newrest founder will retain 15 per cent of the club. Toulouse had recently been relegated from Ligue 1 following the season’s premature conclusion, with the French side bottom of the table before the global health pandemic halted all professional sport in the country.

Nevertheless, Toulouses’ potential new owner, Gerry Cardinale has emphasised his commitment to position the club back on ‘the road to success’.

The founder and managing partner of RedBird Capital Partners added: “RedBird has twenty years of experience in partnership with emblematic sports teams and leagues to create sports and entertainment companies. We are looking forward to finalising our partnership with Olivier and positioning Toulouse FC on the road to success in the future.”

Outside of the sporting world, RedBird will be known for its investment in SkyDance Media, the media company recently behind film franchises such as Terminator, Mission Impossible and Top Gun.

Insider Insight: News of a Toulouse takeover being close to completion will provide some joy amongst its supporters after a torrid season. Whilst it is not confirmed, the likelihood is that if negotiations go smoothly then the deal should cross the line before the beginning of the new season, allowing the club’s potential new owners to plan for the future.