German billionaire Hans-Peter Wild has been confirmed as the new owner of French rugby union side Stade Français.
Wild, whose personal fortune exceeds €3 billion (US$3.35 billion), succeeds Frenchman Thomas Savare, who decided to stand down as president of the Parisian club after six years at the helm.
According to local outlet Le Parisien, the 75-year-old German - who has set up a rugby academy in Heidelberg - intends to invest more than €30million (US$33.5 million) over the next three seasons.
While Wild said the takeover followed just three weeks of talks, he insisted that it was not a “whim” or “short-term action” but was inspired by personal connections to Paris - where he was a student - and “the idea of taking on the challenge of making this club more prestigious and internationalising it”.
“When I was invited to the derby,” he added, “I was impressed by the morale of the team. I know some players are leaving. But players are coming. We may not be in the top three but at least in the top six or seven. It will be a year of transition."
Stade Français finished seventh in the top-tier Top 14 in the 2016/17 season.