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American firm buys 85% stake in French soccer club Toulouse

TOULOUSE, France (AP) — American investment firm RedBird Capital Partners has agreed to buy an 85% stake in struggling French soccer club Toulouse, the sides said Monday. Olivier Sadran, who had been club president since 2001, will retain a 15% stake in his hometown club.

Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed. The sides had been negotiating since May, when RedBird Capital founder Gerry Cardinale confirmed the takeover bid. RedBird Capital immediately appointed Damien Comolli as president. Comolli previously held strategic roles at Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Toulouse was relegated to the second division after finishing last this season. The season ended early with 10 rounds remaining because of the coronavirus pandemic. “We are proud and excited to help write the next chapter of Toulouse FC and realize its tremendous potential,” Cardinale said in a statement.

Sadran, who will remain on the club's board of directors, said the club and city are “big parts of my life.” Comolli said he is “thrilled and honored” to lead Toulouse. “We recognize the unique talent this city has and plan to commit continued focus towards youth development throughout the region,” said Comolli, a Frenchman who has also worked for Monaco and Saint-Etienne.

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