King Street, the investment fund owner of the Girondins “no longer wishes to support the club and finance its current and future needs.
As a result, the Marines and Whites were placed under the protection of the Bordeaux Commercial Court.
It is now an ad hoc representative who will take care of the club's sales process.
A club today very heavily in debt.
Some candidates for the takeover had positioned themselves for several months.
Their attitude will be scrutinized in the coming days.
That's one more bamboo shot! Maybe the one too many. The next few weeks will tell. Thursday, King Street, the American investment fund owner of the Girondins de Bordeaux, announced “that it no longer wanted to support the club and finance its current and future needs. A half-surprise for those who follow the news of the Navy and White. As evoked by
from last December 2, the shareholders had already been looking for several months for a buyer because of the financial situation of the club.
But today, it is especially the form that leaves a little marble all lovers of the FCGB.
Indeed, according to the club press release “these circumstances led the President [Frédéric Longuépée] to protect him by placing him under the protection of the Bordeaux Commercial Court.
An ad hoc representative has been appointed, he will be responsible for assisting FC Girondins de Bordeaux in its search for a lasting solution ”.
Since this announcement, reactions have multiplied in the Bordeaux microcosm and well beyond.
There is a lot of anger, sadness but also a form of relief for some with the end of an ordeal and perhaps the beginning of renewal.
King Street, owner is looking for a buyer for the Girondins de Bordeaux https://t.co/TAPpcBaPUc
- 20 Minutes (@ 20Minutes) December 2, 2020
The club should be able to finish the season, the players stay the course
Management also wanted to communicate with its employees.
She ensures that "during the duration of this procedure intended to shape a recovery plan, the life of the club will continue and salaries will be paid.
"In this internal email, Frédéric Longuépée adds to be" well aware of the concerns that this situation will inevitably create "and promises that" the management team is fully mobilized at his side to get the club out of its difficulties and ensure its future ".
In the evening, Marc Mickeler, the current president of the DNCG (national management control department) clarified that “King Street had issued a letter of comfort for the benefit of the Girondins de Bordeaux, which guarantees the cash deadlines allowing to finish the season.
And the players in all this? They learned the news from their sports director Alain Roche when they arrived in Ploemeur in Brittany at the end of the afternoon where they will be on training until Sunday's match against Lorient. Dazed, they absolutely did not understand the timing of this announcement as they prepare to play a crucial meeting in the race to maintain (Bordeaux, 16th in Ligue 1, is five points ahead of the red zone at five days from the end of the championship). Despite this cataclysmic context around the club, the players decided at a meeting to fight to the end and do everything to keep the Girondins in Ligue 1 according to RMC Sport. It will then be time to plan for the future even if it will be very difficult to ignore the situation of the club in the coming weeks.
A multi-step sales process
Exactly, what future for the Girondins, in the short and medium term? For the moment, Frédéric Longuépée keeps the management of the club despite the appointment of an ad hoc representative from the commercial court. The latter is there to defend the interests of employees and creditors, including the largest Fortress, another American investment fund which lent 40 million euros to King Street in 2018. A so-called "mezzanine" loan that the owner des Marine et Blanc was to reimburse by October 2022. At first, negotiations should quickly take place on this one and moreover, Fortress can at this stage decide to simply take back the Girondins. But according to our information, this is not their ambition.“They have no interest in doing that because they will then have to recover the club's debt in addition to the 40 million euros they have already loaned. So they will never get their money back. In Lille, Elliott had an interest in doing it because there are assets (players). There, there is zero! », Explains a person close to the file.
It is therefore only in a second step that the sales process can be initiated. "King Street made the announcement with this timing to give time to serious buyers to pick up the baby," said one of them. The ad hoc representative whose mission is generally three months (renewable) will then have the task of finding the best offer. But the buyers have every interest in playing the clock to recover the club as cheaply as possible, for example by letting it be placed in receivership to obtain a spreading of debts or a suspension of repayment, or outright while waiting for a liquidation not to pay. no debt. In the latter case, the agent will sell to the highest bidder and if there is still no one, the club can be sold for a symbolic euro like Strasbourg in 2011.
Today, it is therefore a real game of lying poker that begins with the potential buyers.
According to information from
the club's deficit now stands at more than 100 million euros (including the 40 million euro loan from Fortress).
As a reminder, the FFF (French Football Federation) decided last December that “for the 2020-2021 season, any club that would be the subject of a safeguard or receivership procedure opened before the resumption of the 2021 championships- 2022 will not be automatically demoted to the lower division if it benefits from a safeguard plan, a recovery plan or a disposal plan approved by the competent court before this same deadline.
The worst-case scenario being of course that King Street goes bankrupt in the process.
Already candidates for redemption?
To avoid it, all Girondins de Bordeaux supporters hope to see buyers appear.
Good news in this slump, some, more or less credible, have already made themselves known in the past.
This is the case of Bruno Fievet, a business manager and lover of Navy and White.
He even claims to have made an official offer of 70 million euros to King Street last fall.
But the American investment fund has always refused to consider it despite a strong media campaign.
A few days ago, he announced the abandonment of his recovery project ... But upon hearing the news Thursday, he decided to resume it.
He will be a candidate to take over the club "under certain conditions".
In recent months, King Street had retained a more interesting file according to its leaders. Another “Bordeaux” project here too. That of Pascal Rigo. This businessman, supporter of the Girondins, former ambassador of the club like Bruno Fievet and who made a fortune in particular by developing a bakery chain in California, had put together a case with the support of an American billionaire. He had spoken on several occasions with American executives, including twice with the CEO of the investment fund, Brian Higgins, but he had not heard from him for several months. Can this King Street decision relaunch his project? For the moment, the time is for reflection because the announcement was "brutal and sudden" as underlined by a good connoisseur of the file. The same question arises for Peak6.This American company had indeed started discussions last summer with King Street for a possible takeover but without this succeeding.
Other potential candidates could quickly come forward. Perhaps more discreet applications. This is particularly the case of a project led by American investors with a large financial base and already established in sport in Europe according to information from
This one is worn by a French football leader on this side of the Atlantic. Negotiations had lasted for several months with King Street with multiple meetings. In March, the lawyers of the two parties, for example, exchanged at length in the United States, an agreement was close to finally enter into exclusive discussions but finally, everything was put on standby by the owners of the Girondins. Overnight, without too many reasons. The announcement of this Thursday is surely an explanation for this sudden decision. Thursday evening, these investors simply claimed to "study the situation".
also evokes a possible takeover project carried by Gérard Lopez, the former president of LOSC.
He had already positioned himself before the buyout of the club by the Americans in 2018 but at the moment, he would rather be on the verge of taking over a club across the Channel.
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