Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote has made his final decision regarding the purchase of French club Valenciennes football club, and it is not the outcome many had expected, Soccernet.ng reports.
Dangote, a renowned serial entrepreneur and the wealthiest individual in Africa, has chosen to withdraw his interest in acquiring the club.
Initially, Dangote displayed a strong desire to become the owner of the Ligue 2 side and had emerged as the frontrunner in the race for ownership.
However, the latest reports from Jeune Afrique indicate that the Nigerian tycoon has ultimately abandoned his ambitious project.
This decision has opened the door for Danish company Sport Republic, which now finds itself in pole position to secure the purchase.
Confirming the shift in the landscape, Valenciennes’ management has revealed that they are currently engaged in exclusive negotiations with Sport Republic.
The Danish sports investment firm, based in London, holds majority stakes in two other clubs—English side FC Southampton (80%) and Turkish outfit Göztepe Izmir (70%).
While Valenciennes, despite a recent defeat on the final day against Saint-Étienne, secured their place in Ligue 2, they have yet to taste success in the top division.
Nonetheless, the club has triumphed in Ligue 2 on two occasions and claimed titles in the Championnat National and the Championnat de France amateur in 2005 and 1998, respectively.
Notably, in 1951, Valenciennes made their first and only appearance in the Coupe de France final.