French soccer club PSG welcome Qatari takeover

Colony Capital have confirmed the sale of a 70 per cent stake in Ligue 1 Orange soccer club Paris Saint Germain (PSG) to Qatar Sports Investments (QSI).

Colony Capital have confirmed the sale of a 70 per cent stake in Ligue 1 Orange soccer club Paris Saint Germain (PSG) to Qatar Sports Investments (QSI).

The American investment firm will retain 30 per cent of the 95 per cent shareholding it purchased in PSG in 2006, but will cede control over the club's affairs to QSI. Financial terms of the deal were not announced, but French daily newspaper Le Monde places the value somewhere between €30 million (US$43.24 million) and €40 million (US$57.66 million). Though QSI are expected to make a substantial commitment to PSG in the long term, the full extent of any further investment by QSI in PSG's first team or infrastructure is unclear.
 
Sébastien Bazin, the chief executive of Colony Capital SAS, the group's European division, said: "We met a lot of people who were interested in Paris Saint-Germain. It was necessary to choose one who was serious, ethical, responsible, credible, and also, one of great discretion. That's why I speak of these new Qatari investors like a rare pearl. We didn't have the right to make a mistake. What is certain is that next year's budget, built together, is a budget which includes a commitment to development and to participating in the [transfer] market this summer."
 
Robin Leproux, the president of PSG, added: "This is excellent news for the club. Sébastien has welcomed a prominent, powereful shareholder which is very invested in the development of sport. For the club, it's an historic moment. I very much look forward to a club which has matured. So much has been invested that we can dream bigger. The whole of the Paris Saint-Germain team is very enthusiatic."
 
PSG finished fourth in the 2010/11 Ligue 1 Orange table, missing out on Uefa Champions League qualification by four points.