Gérard Lopez Galaxy. In the Girondins, the fortress and King Street still hold sway

Owner and manager of Girondins since July 26, 2021, Gérard Lopez is nonetheless still very much attached to the club’s two main financial backers since the sale of the M6 ​​in November 2018: King Street, owner of 86.4 …

Owner and manager of Girondins since July 26, 2021, Gérard Lopez is nonetheless still very close to the club’s two main financial backers since the sale of the M6 ​​in November 2018: King Street, owner of 86.4% and then 100% of the club until last summer, and Fortress, the main creditor of the Girondins, who would again become the decision-maker whose lineage. Decryption.

1 A resumption of the three-way club

To take legal control of the Girondins last summer, Gérard Lopez, through his company Jogo Bonito, acquired all the titles Dynamie, the parent company of the Bordeaux club, until then owned by FC Bordeaux Intermediate SARL. The latter, based in Luxembourg and a subsidiary of another company in the Grand Duchy (FC Bordeaux Holdings), had been run by representatives of King Street since November 2019 and the sidelines of the GACP.

If the agreement on the terms of the transfer of La Dynamie shares between Jogo Bonito and King Street is not known, the financial package is for the “rescue” of the Girondins company. Via Jogo Bonito and Dynamie, Gérard Lopez implemented a capital increase of 10 million euros, released in the club’s accounts.

Faced with the risk of losing their entire stake in the event of a trade court crossing, King Street and Fortress have agreed to “repay” bond loans – Editor’s note: negotiable debt securities issued by a company to investors and not from banks -, on 12.5 million euros and 7 million euros respectively through subsidiaries.

In return, the units are now shown in proportion to the club’s capital. Their shares do not entitle them to vote and therefore do not allow them to affect the operational function of the club. On the other hand, if Gérard Lopez decided to sell all or part of its securities by 2025, these funds could demand that the same proportion of their shares be purchased at the “price” of the investment. What affects the choice and size of the sale if the Spanish-speaking Luxembourger decides to leave…

King Street and Fortress secured “security” through a “preferred stake.” This would allow them to grasp the fate of the club if the repayment agreements were not complied with, or in case of financial or sporting failure.

At the same time, creditors have secured “security” through a “preferred action”. This would allow them to grasp the fate of the club if the repayment agreements were not complied with, or in case of financial or sporting failure.

2 The weight of “preferred share”

It is an act lost among the others, but with considerable legal weight. Present in La Dynamie since the takeover from M6 in November 2018, it appeared last summer in the constitution of the shareholding in SASP Girondins. Its common carrier: Aether Financial Services, a financial “provider” based in Paris and London. “Security Agent”, he is responsible for securing the debt to King Street and Fortress.

The articles of association of both Dynamie and Girondins offer Aether a number of decisions without the consent of the majority shareholder, from the change of chairman or deputy CEO to the launch of a sales process. Even a forced sale, in several cases even before the club’s non-repayment of debt: non-compliance with financial agreements and the intermediary credit agreement, the club’s insolvency or … initiation of proceedings at the Commercial Court. By placing the club under an ad hoc mandate a year ago, former president Frédéric Longuépée thus gave the keys to the sale to Aether (and Fortress), as King Street is no longer the sole decision-maker.

Last July, the hypothesis of a relegation to Ligue 2 was added. In this case, the same will thus have the opportunity to dismiss Gérard Lopez if they consider that he is no longer the man for the job, or if another project for them seems to correspond better to their interests. “They are like me: they do not want us to go down, and if that happens, we will work together,” Gérard Lopez confirmed in early March to “Sud Ouest.”

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