The owners of Premier League side Manchester City have acquired a majority share in French second-tier team Esperance Sportive Troyes Aube Champagne (ESTAC), City Football Group (CFG) said on Thursday.
CFG, whose network now encompasses 10 teams and also includes Major League Soccer side New York City and Spanish team Girona, said it had bought the shares owned by previous owner Daniel Masoni.
It added French businessman Maxime Ray acquired a minority stake and will be part of the French club’s board.
“We’ve had an interest in French football for some time and have long admired ESTAC, so we are delighted to have completed the acquisition of our 10th club and have a permanent presence in France,” CFG CEO Ferran Soriano said in a statement.
“This is a milestone for CFG and demonstrates how our model continues to adapt and grow in a relatively short space of time.”
ESTAC, founded in 1986 and more commonly known as Troyes, won the Intertoto Cup in 2001 and lifted the Ligue 2 title in 2014-15 before being relegated from Ligue 1 the next season.
They play their matches in the 20,400 capacity Stade de l’Aube. The team were fourth in Ligue 2 when the 2019-20 season was ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CFG is majority owned by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Its list of clubs also includes Melbourne City FC in Australia, Yokohama F Marinos in Japan, Montevideo City Torque in Uruguay, Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China, Mumbai City FC in India and Lommel SK in Belgium.