Note: Reign FC and OL Groupe are holding a live stream at 1:30 PM. Watch it on the Reign FC Facebook or below.
After teasing the news in November, it’s official. OL Groupe have acquired Reign FC. The transaction is expected to close in January 2020.
OL Group paid $3.145 million to hold an 89.5% stake in Reign FC, while former Reign FC majority owners Teresa Predmore and Bill Predmore will have a 7.5% stake in the club. In more surprising news, Tony Parker, the four-time NBA champion, chairman of LDLC ASVEL (the current French women’s and men’s basketball champion in Lyon) and an OL brand ambassador in the United States, will hold a 3% stake.
The total investment among all owners is $3.51 million.
“As stewards of Reign FC, Teresa and I both understood that when the time came to transition the team to new leadership, we had a duty to ensure that the new owner shared our commitment to the sport, to our league, to our players, to our partners, to our fans, and to our region,” Bill Predmore shared in a Regin FC release.
“In OL Groupe we have found a kindred spirit. They share our beliefs, our passions, and our ambitions for building a truly extraordinary soccer club. We are incredibly proud to join the OL family and are confident that under OL’s stewardship the club will continue to grow and prosper on and off the pitch.”
Jean-Michel Aulas — owner and president of Olympique Lyonnais — will serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors, with Tony Parker also holding a seat. Bill Predmore will remain the club’s CEO, supported by a COO to be named by OL Groupe.
According to a release from OL Groupe, one of their primary motivations for the investments is “a desire to provide the highest-calibre support to Reign FC, mirroring that successfully provided by Olympique Lyonnais to its women’s team in Europe.”
The press release goes on to highlight Megan Rapinoe and Jess Fishlock as two players who joined the club in Lyon for a period of time and found success.
OL Groupe also aims to further increase “Olympique Lyonnais’ status as leading force in women’s football around the world, which it has established by blazing a trail over more than a decade in France.”
“The success of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the semi-finals and finals of which were held at Groupama Stadium, demonstrated the growing popularity of women’s football and its expanding global audience,” OL Groupe stated in its release.
The Reign Academy will also become a part of the OL family, with Teresa Predmore remaining as president of the academy. Reign Academy doubled in size for the 2019/2020 season and will continue to compete in the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy and maintain its Reserves and Pre-Academy programs.
“We believe Reign FC’s lasting legacy in our region can be Reign Academy,” said Teresa Predmore. “OL has a long and successful history of developing female players in its academy programs, which will serve as a guide for our future growth. OL shares our belief that female players deserve and benefit from an environment and approach that serves the unique needs of female players. In becoming part of the OL family we can now deliver players a truly special set of opportunities and experiences locally, nationally, and globally.”
Reign FC will continue to play its home matches at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma. Season tickets for 2020 will go on sale at noon PT on Friday, December 20.
More details will be shared during a press conference at Cheney Stadium today, which fill feature the new ownership group and Reign FC player Megan Rapinoe, along with the Sounders General Counsel, who will provide details on the stadium situation in Tacoma. Come back here at 1:30 PM PT to watch the livestream.