~ Expands the Foley-led Partnership Strategy of Multi-Club Ownership to Develop a Distinct Global Football Asset Portfolio ~
Cannae Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNNE) (“Cannae” or the “Company”) today announced that Black Knight Football and Entertainment, LP (“BKFE” or the “Partnership”), a partnership led by William P. Foley, II (“Foley”) and majority owned by Cannae, entered into a strategic partnership and agreed to acquire a significant minority ownership interest in FC Lorient (the “Club”), a French Ligue 1 football club. The agreement provides BKFE an opportunity to invest additional capital after this season.
The investment in FC Lorient advances BKFE’s multi-club ownership strategy initiated last month with the acquisition of A.F.C. Bournemouth, an English Premier League club. The Partnership is building a global network of world-class football clubs, players, and real estate assets that will produce operational synergies, accelerate player development, enable efficient player migration across BKFE’s network of owned and operated clubs, while driving both strong on-field and financial results.
“We are excited to announce a strategic partnership and investment in FC Lorient today,” Foley said. “Loïc Fery has successfully built a best-in-class football club and will be a great partner as we build BKFE into a leading multi-club football operator. I look forward to partnering with Loïc and his team to accelerate the success of FC Lorient and BKFE.”
For the last fourteen seasons, FC Lorient has operated under the leadership of Loïc Fery (“Fery”), after becoming the youngest president of a Ligue 1 club. Fery’s management has been central to the growth and development of the Club. FC Lorient will be a key contributor to, and beneficiary of, BKFE’s multi-club ownership strategy. In BKFE, FC Lorient adds an operator with a track record of success in Bill Foley, who founded the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League and recorded the most successful season for an expansion franchise in any sport, having reached the Stanley Cup Final in the inaugural season.
Fery commented, “FC Lorient represents an extraordinary opportunity, which also involves great responsibilities. Since I took over the club in 2009, each of my decisions has been motivated by the objective of structuring and sustaining the club at the highest level. Ligue 1 has an ambition of excellence for French football, and I want our team to be part of this increasingly competitive future. Bill's experience and results in professional sport (notably with the Vegas Golden Knights), his passion, his determined character, and his global approach to football with Bournemouth convinced me to join forces. I am very happy to make this opportunity a reality for FC Lorient and welcome Bill to FC Lorient.”
FC Lorient is a fixture of Ligue 1, the top professional football league in France, having competed at the highest level of French football for 13 of the last 16 seasons. Ligue 1, which refers to itself as “The League of Talents”, was a priority for BKFE as it is home to some of the best academies in Europe and is known for developing some of the most talented players in the world. FC Lorient currently sits in 6th place in Ligue 1 and has the 4th youngest roster, a testament to the Club’s ability to effectively develop and utilize its youth talent.
About Cannae Holdings, Inc.
We primarily acquire interests in operating companies and are engaged in actively managing and operating a core group of those companies. We are a long-term owner that secures control and governance rights of other companies primarily to engage in their lines of business and we have no preset time constraints dictating when we sell or dispose of our businesses. We believe that our long-term ownership and active involvement in the management and operations of companies helps maximize the value of those businesses for our shareholders. Cannae’s current principal holdings include Dun & Bradstreet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DNB), in which Cannae holds 79 Million shares or 18% interest, and Alight, Inc. (NYSE: ALIT), in which Cannae owns 52.5 Million shares representing a 10% interest. Cannae also holds 6 Million shares, or 4%, of Ceridian HCM Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CDAY), 27 Million shares, or 24%, of System1, Inc. (NYSE: SST), and 3.4 Million shares, or 5.5% of Paysafe (NYSE: PSFE). Cannae’s other principal holdings include Sightline Payments, of which Cannae owns 32%.
About FC Lorient
FC Lorient is a French professional football club based in Lorient, Brittany, France. The Club was founded in 1926 and currently competes in Ligue 1, the highest level of the men’s French football league system. Lorient won the Coupe de France in 2002. FC Lorient has a successful track-record of developing world-class footballers highlighted by its robust youth academy. FC Lorient also has a leading women's section and is active in developing and promoting women's football. The Club plays its home matches at the 18,000-seat Stade Yves Allainmat (“Le Moustoir”), which host every summer the famous European Celtic Festival and serves as a multi-purpose venue, staging international sporting events as well as major concerts and shows.
Forward-Looking Statements and Risk Factors
This document contains forward-looking statements that involve multiple risks and uncertainties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements regarding our expectations, hopes, intentions, or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management. Because such statements are based on expectations as to future financial and operating results and are not statements of fact, actual results may differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, resulting from new information, future events or otherwise. The risks and uncertainties which forward-looking statements are subject to include, but are not limited to: changes in general economic, business and political conditions, changes in the financial markets, and changes in the conditions resulting from the outbreak of a pandemic, such as the novel COVID-19 (“COVID-19”); the overall impact of the outbreak of COVID-19 and measures to curb its spread, including the effect of governmental or voluntary mitigation measures such as business shutdowns, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders; our potential inability to find suitable acquisition candidates, acquisitions in lines of business that will not necessarily be limited to our traditional areas of focus, or difficulties in integrating acquisitions; significant competition that our operating subsidiaries face; compliance with extensive government regulation of our operating subsidiaries; risks and limitations on our strategic and operating flexibility related to the Investment Company Act of 1940.
This document should be read in conjunction with the risks detailed in the “Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information,” “Risk Factors” and other sections of the Company’s Form 10-Q,10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Jamie Lillis, Managing Director, Solebury Strategic Communications, 203-428-3223, firstname.lastname@example.org