Sunderland announce takeover deal with 22-year-old Louis-Dreyfus

Reuters , Friday 25 Dec 2020

FILE PHOTO: General view outside Sunderland's Stadium of Light. Sunderland, Britain, May 9, 2020. (Reuters)

League One (third-tier) side Sunderland announced on Thursday that an agreement had been reached for French businessman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus to acquire Stewart Donald's controlling interest in the north-east club.

If approved by the English Football League (EFL), the deal will see 22-year-old Frenchman Louis-Dreyfus become Sunderland club early in the New Year.

"It’s been no secret that I have been looking for some time to find the right person to take Sunderland forward and during the course of the last year there have been a lot of different people wanting to take over," Donald said in a statement

"From the early meetings with Kyril, his family and advisers, I have been greatly impressed with their knowledge and understanding, learned over a long period as owners of major football clubs in Belgium and France.

Kyril is the son of Russian-born Swiss billionaire Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, chairperson of the Louis Dreyfus Group, who succeeded her husband Robert in the role after he died in 2009. Robert formerly owned French Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille.

"We respectfully await the EFL’s approval for this transaction," Kyril said. "Nonetheless it would be remiss of me at this stage not to emphasise what an enormous honour it would be for me to become involved with such a historic club."

Sunderland, who lifted their last major trophy in 1973 when they won the FA Cup, are currently 11th in League One seven points behind leaders Portsmouth but with two games in hand.

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