Soccer-Lyon parent company acquires NWSL's Reign FC

Dec 19 (Reuters) - OL Groupe, the parent company of French Ligue 1 team Olympique Lyonnais, has completed the takeover of National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) franchise Reign FC in a deal worth $3.51 million, OL Groupe and Reign said on Thursday.

OL Groupe will hold an 89.5% stake in Reign and four-times NBA champion Tony Parker, a Lyon brand ambassador in the U.S., will have a 3% stake.

"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," former Reign FC investor-operator Bill Predmore, who will hold 7.5% of the share capital, said in a statement here.

“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.”

The Lyon women’s team is among the strongest in the sport, having won six Champions League titles including a record four in a row from 2016 to 2019.

They have also won 13 domestic league titles and have some of the sport’s biggest names in their squad, including England’s Lucy Bronze and France’s Wendie Renard.

Reign FC, one of the founding members of the NWSL, have reached the playoffs in the last two seasons. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)