PARIS – Reed Smith has advised Olympique Lyonnais Groupe (OL Groupe) and Olympique Lyonnais (OL) on the financing of the construction of the group's latest development project, the LDLC Arena, a major multi-purpose sporting and entertainment complex, which will be located near the club’s existing Groupama Stadium in Lyon.

The LDLC Arena will be among the most modern, technologically and environmentally advanced facilities in Europe. With its seating capacity of 12,000 to 16,000, it will be the largest events arena in France outside Paris. The arena will benefit from state-of-the-art connectivity and user experience technology. It will have the capacity to host between 100 and 120 events per year (concerts, seminars, large-scale industry trade fairs, e-sport competitions and major sporting events, including the Euroleague basketball matches). The construction started in January 2022, and it is expected that the arena will be operational by the end of 2023.

The financing of the project amounts to over 141 million euros, and includes:

  • the issue by OL Groupe of perpetual subordinated bonds (TSDI) subscribed by several investors for a total amount of €10.5 million;
  • the issue by OL Groupe of Recovery Bonds (Obligations Relance) (a stimulus program for French companies introduced as part of the France Relance plan) subscribed by the Fonds Obligations Relance France for a total amount of €18.5 million; and
  • a real estate finance lease agreement for a total net amount of €90 million entered into between OL Vallée Arena, a wholly owned subsidiary of OL Groupe, and a syndicate of five leading banks.

The Reed Smith team in Paris was led by Florent Rigaud, counsel, assisted by Hugo Le Ridou, associate, and Baptiste Gelpi, partner, on the bond financing aspects. Caroline Ledoux, partner, and Marine Deyrolle, associate, advised on corporate law aspects, and Stéphane Illouz, partner, and Jordan Tobaly, associate, advised on real estate law aspects.

Clifford Chance advised the main existing senior creditors of OL Groupe and OL. Gide Loyrette Nouel advised the Fonds Obligations Relance France, and Delsol Avocats advised a TSDI investor.