Nice – Between two waters for several weeks in anticipation of the finalization of its acquisition by the British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, boss of the petrochemical giant Ineos, the OGC Nice sees the end of this period of uncertainty, with the convocation on Tuesday. a works council.
At about 100 million euros, according to sources close to the record, this acquisition would reach a record level in France, even if it remains light years away from what can be practiced in the Premier League: for comparison, the OM was bought by Franck McCourt for 45 million euros and the Girondins de Bordeaux for 60 million euros by a US investment fund.
If the agreement comes to an end, Chien Lee, Alex Zheng and Paul Conway, who bought 80% of the OGCN's shares since the summer of 2016 for 20 million euros, are about to realize a nice capital gain .
Regularly announced as imminent for weeks, the process finally enters its penultimate stage with the convocation Tuesday morning of the works council to complete the agreement protocol for sale.
The elected representatives of the 145 employees of the OGCN will first have to give an advisory opinion Tuesday on the project of the tycoon – who recently bought the Sky cycling team and has also invested in sailing – which should to be presented to them by his brother Robert Ratcliffe, according to sources close to both parties, or to defend a counter-project, hardly imaginable in the state.
A passage in front of the National Directorate of Management Control (DNCG) of the League, then before the Competition Authority will follow during a period of four to six weeks necessary for this type of transaction before the final transfer of ownership ( closing).
– "I do not see myself anywhere else"-
In this space, the Gym will experience a sort of cohabitation governance between former and future owners that will necessarily limit its ability to intervene during the transfer window. It will be a "floating period", recognizes a close friend of the club, during which the two parties must in particular give their approval for any engagement of a player.
With a single reinforcement recorded for the time, the young midfielder Khephren Thuram (18 years old), not aligned on Saturday in friendly in front of PSV Eindhoven (Nice win 3-2), the Nice squad does not seem to be too affected by the blur ambient, a state that has persisted since early 2019.
"Who will happen (to the management), who will decide what … I do not know. But today, I do not see myself anywhere else", assured on his side Patrick Vieira, the Nice coach, during the return of the Eaglets.
On July 1st, the technician champion of the world 1998 had insisted on his will to be there in the duration but also on the importance of Gauthier Ganaye, the president engaged on February 1st, Gilles Grimandi, the technical director and Matthieu Louis -Jean, head of the recruitment cell, hired at the end of the winter.
These three leaders would be far from assured to continue the adventure under the English flag. The rumors suggest the return of Jean-Pierre Rivère and Julien Fournier, the former president and CEO, who left the club mid-January, in conflict with their majority shareholders, including recruitment and against a background of financial dispute.
The acquisition of Jim Ratcliffe, discreet boss of Ineos, a giant located on 171 petrochemical sites, Brexiter posted, Monegasque tax resident, will not propel the OGCN in another dimension from the kickoff of Ligue 1. At the his visit to Nice facilities in April, his brother Robert had not promised the moon in Nice-Matin but rather a team that could eventually play the podium behind Paris SG. Not bad, already, for the 7th of the last championship.