Bahraini SWF invests in second Paris football club
The wave of foreign investors keeps swarming into the French football universe. And the latest is none other than Mumtalakat, the sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain, which, on Monday, acquired 20% of Paris FC, the second football squad of the French capital playing in the local second league (Ligue 2).
According to a statement from the club, a capital increase aimed at strengthening Paris FC's own capital enabled Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund to purchase a 20% stake. The Kingdom will also be the main sponsor of the team through the baseline 'Explore Bahrain'. Another foreign investor as well as company leaders from the Paris region are expected to join as shareholders over the coming months. Meanwhile, Pierre Ferracci, holding 77% of the club's shares, will remain Paris FC's majority shareholder. The club, whose budget increases by 30% through this transaction, specifies that the control of Paris FC will still be in the hands of regional and national investors. Paris FC vows to access the French main football league Ligue 1 with its men's team within three years. Its women's team has set a target to get a ticket for the elite French women football championship. As a counterpart, the club will invest in the development and training of both managers and young players in Bahrain.
Bahrain forms the second Middle East country to invest in a French football squad. In June 2011, Qatar had purchased the capital's main club Paris Saint-Germain through its QSI fund. Saudi Arabia, whose royal family has been recently linked to a potential purchase of PSG's rival Olympique de Marseille, was close to invest in a third division club in 2016. Saudi prince Fahad Al Saud had signed a pre-agreeement to acquire a 40% stake in CS Sedan Ardennes before breaking it. Last year, the club's managers sued him before courts as he did not fulfil his commitments.