Colony Capital to Sell Stake in Paris Saint Germain

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Colony Capital is in talks to sell a minority stake in the French soccer club Paris Saint Germain, Reuters reported. The firm declined to release the name of potential investors, Reuters said.

(Reuters) Colony Capital, the American owners of French soccer club Paris Saint Germain, are in talks to sell a stake in the club to help them compete with Europe’s elite, PSG’s president said in remarks published on Friday.

Paris’ main club have struggled in recent years, caught between poor results and fan violence, but have seen their fortunes turn this season after management decided to clean up the stands.

“Sebastien Bazin (head of Colony Capital Europe) allowed me to disclose that there are talks to sell a minority stake,” Robin Leproux told French daily Le Parisien.

“To be clear we are talking about (investors) taking a stake, not selling the club or changing the majority owner.”

Leproux declined to identify the buyers, but the paper said according to its sources negotiations were taking place with American and East European investors.

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has repeatedly been linked to a 40 million euro ($52.45 million) stake buy in PSG, although Leproux declined to comment on a potential Gulf investment.

“The arrival of new partners would be great for everybody at the club … having extra (financial) means would strengthen us and offer us new perspectives,” Leproux said.

“Today, there are (transfer) figures that just aren’t at our level. The arrival of a new partner alongside Colony Capital would enable us to jump a hurdle.”

PSG are second in the French top flight this season.

Foreign investors have been snapping up clubs across Europe’s top leagues as they look to take advantage of potential marketing opportunities overseas.

Last month, Indian poultry giant Venky’s completed a takeover of English Premier League club Blackburn Rovers for 23 million pounds ($36.66 million). (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by John Irish and Peter Rutherford) ($1=.7626 Euro)