Southampton owners closing in on acquisition of Ligue 2’s Valenciennes

L’Équipe report in today’s issue that Danish investment fund Sport Republic, which owns Southampton, has entered exclusive talks over the acquisition of Ligue 2 side Valenciennes. Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote was initially interested, but has pulled out of the process after being granted access to the club’s financial details.

The incumbent president Eddy Zdziech, meanwhile, is looking to buy out all of the minority shares ahead of the club’s prospective sale, in an operation which is expected to cost €2m. The move will give Zdziech full control over the club ahead of their hearing with the DNCG, French football’s financial watchdog, who have been made aware of the sale process.

The club will have a deficit of €3.5m to shore up this summer, while Sport Republic intend to invest €15m into the club straight away. Former defender Milan Biševac is said to have facilitated discussions between the Valenciennes board and the fund’s lead investor, Dragan Šolak.

Zdziech, who is opposed by the majority of the Ligue 2 club’s supporters, would like to extend his 9-year stay at the club in some capacity after the takeover, as well as guaranteeing a position for his son Cédric. Although Sport Republic did not overhaul the personnel at Southampton when they took over the now-Championship club last year, the first point of order at Valenciennes will be to appoint a new manager.


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