N3: the sale of AS Cannes postponed, stand-by with Dan Friedkin

While a signature was discussed at the Cannes Film Festival last May, before being postponed, the sale of AS Cannes should take a few more weeks. Having entered into advanced negotiations with businessman Dan Friedkin at the beginning of the year, Anny Courtade, the president, has not yet completed the transaction.

It was an expected sale and it now looks less and less certain. While all the signals were green for Dan Friedkin, owner of The Friedkin Group, an American group having made a fortune in the automobile, luxury tourism and cinema sectors, to become the new owner of AS Cannes, the negotiations suddenly experienced a sharp slowdown to the point of observing a stand-by period, confirmed by Cannes sources to RMC Sport.

Anny Courtade, president of AS Cannes, had received 51 buyout offers a few months ago. Quickly, four of them had been selected, including that of Dan Friedkin, already owner of AS Roma (Serie A, Italy), club in which he invested nearly 600 million euros between purchase of the club, reduction debt and liquidity injection. Two meetings had taken place between Courtade and the 57-year-old American businessman.

Discussions had quickly progressed with this fan of aviation and cinema, whose Imperative Entertainment studio participated in the production of several recognized films and decorated with various awards such as The Square (Palme d’Or 2017 in Cannes), Without filter ( Palme d’Or 2022 in Cannes), La Mule (by Clint Eastwood) and Killers of the Flower Moon (by Martin Scorsese). A signature had even been mentioned by the actors of the sale during the Cannes Film Festival in May.

AS Cannes does not rule out that exchanges will resume in the coming weeks… with Dan Friedkin or another investor

Since then, discussions have revolved around several points of clarification regarding the convention. In these negotiations, the points were worked on and amended as the exchanges and back and forth with the legal representatives of Dan Friedkin progressed. The longest to develop concerned the drafting of the agreement which governs relations between the sports company and the association.

The owner of Roma has shown great interest in the men’s first team, but also in the women’s team, he who continues to develop this section in Rome successfully, the team having finished 2nd in Serie A, thus qualifying for the 2022/2023 Women’s Champions League. Despite an agreement around the convention, the transaction has not been completed to date. On the AS Cannes side, we cannot rule out that exchanges will resume in the coming weeks, with Dan Friedkin or another investor. “There have been 51 offers and a pool of local investors can still come forward,” we whisper in the club’s entourage.

In parallel with the exchanges with the president of AS Cannes, Dan Friedkin and his advisers have also taken steps with the town hall, which owns the infrastructure. The objective of the American investor is to own them in order to be able to carry out works and investments. An essential element for Friedkin, who is already working at Roma on the construction of a stadium of ownership in order to be able to increase commercial income and ticketing in particular. The massive arrival of American investors in Italy is regularly accompanied by infrastructure overhaul projects (stadium, training centre). It remains to know the position of the municipality on the subject. Meeting content was not filtered.

A fortnight ago, as negotiations neared completion, Dan Friedkin and his advisers requested additional time and put the deal on hold. The American leaders are involved in a heavy operation in Rome: a takeover bid (OPA) with minority shareholders, with the aim of then withdrawing the Roman club from the stock market. But the reasons for this delay would find root, from sources close to the file, in last minute requests, activating changes in an agreement found and in the process of being formalized. Dan Friedkin would have had little taste for these requests and would have put the transaction on stand-by.

Expected to remain within the future sports SAS, without an operational role, Anny Courtade therefore continues to chair the club, pending future developments. Second in its National 3 group during the last exercise, AS Cannes narrowly missed the rise to National 2, preceded by AS Furiani-Agliani. Maralpin players will find their way back to the training grounds in the coming days, as the start of the new N3 season will be given on August 28.

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N3: the sale of AS Cannes postponed, stand-by with Dan Friedkin