August & Debouzy advised the Valenciennes football club in connection with its takeover

Article | 29/07/14 | Laurent Cotret

After facing difficult times, the future of the Valenciennes football club is now looking brighter. Such turnaround was possible thanks to the arrival of new investors, a debt write-off, a debt restructuring and two successive favorable opinions.


August & Debouzy advised the football club in a particularly tense context.


Indeed, the club, which was granted a suspension of payment on June 10 and then placed in administration on June 25 by the Valenciennes Commercial Court, thus relegating de facto the club to an amateur football club, had €13 million in debt to pay.


In order to avoid a judicial insolvency procedure, the debt write-off and debt restructuring were negotiated. Furthermore, the training center was assigned to the Valenciennes agglomeration. Lastly, a group of investors, headed by Jean-Louis Borloo, got together and injected €2.6 million worth of fresh funds. 


In parallel, the challenge was to act quickly in order to obtain, by the Appellate Committee of the French Football Federation, in less than 15 days, the review of the judgment handed down by the Commercial Court (on July 10) and the decision handed down (on July 11) by the National Directorate of Management Control (DNCG).


Such convergence of actions is currently allowing the club to remain in 2nd division and to keep its professional status. The investors, grouped together in a Newco (takeover holding company) referred to as Diables Rouges Holding, will eventually control nearly the entire share capital of the club which saw its debt fall to €600,000.


August & Debouzy (David Malamed, partner, Laurent Cotret, Counsel, Émilie Cazes and Aude Manzo Keszler) advised the club and the investors. Le Crédit Agricole, main creditor, was advised internally.

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