Reign FC, the National Women’s Soccer League team that moved from Seattle to Tacoma for this past season, has entered into exclusive negotiations to sell the club to OL Group, the parent company of Olympic Lyon in France.
Lyon has won six UEFA Women’s Champions League titles, including four straight.
“Our ambition has always been to operate the best women’s football club in the world,” said Reign FC majority owner Bill Predmore in a statement Monday announcing the negotiations. “This is a distinction long held by (Olympic Lyon), making them the perfect organization to help us achieve our long-term objectives for the club.”
Bill and Teresa Predmore, his wife, will retain a minor ownership stake, according to the release, and Bill Predmore will continue to serve as CEO of Reign FC.
The Predmores took on minority investors when the team moved to Tacoma in January: Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer and his mother, Lenora, and Tacoma Soccer Ventures. The minority investors will not have a stake if the sale is completed.
Seattle Reign FC was part of the NWSL from its initial season in 2013. The Reign won the NWSL Shield in 2014 and 2015 for having the league’s best record, but lost in the title match both of those seasons.
World Cup star Megan Rapinoe has been with the Reign since the beginning and is the team captain.
Reign FC will continue to play its home matches at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma “while the club will continue its collaboration with the Sounders and Rainiers, supporting their efforts to build a new soccer-specific stadium in Tacoma,” the release said.