Toulouse in takeover talks with U.S. firm RedBird

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TOULOUSE, France — The owner of struggling French soccer club Toulouse is in negotiations to sell an 85-percent stake to American investment firm RedBird Capital Partners.

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Toulouse was relegated after finishing last in the first division this season but Amiens, another team relegated from Ligue 1, have launched an appeal against ending the season early after the French government said no games in empty stadiums could take place before September.

The league was ended early with 10 rounds remaining because of the coronavirus pandemic and a points-per-game model was used to determine the final standings for the 2019-20 season in France’s top-flight.

“I am convinced RedBird Capital Partners has the competence and resources needed to allow us to return among the elite of French soccer,” owner Olivier Sadran said in a club statement on Thursday.

Sadran has been club president since 2001 and will retain a 15% stake in his hometown club.

“I feel responsible,” he said. “They can always count on my passion and my support.”

RedBird Capital founder Gerry Cardinale confirmed the takeover bid.

“We’re eager to finalize our partnership with Olivier and to put Toulouse on the path to success in the future,” he said in the statement.