Owner of 20% of the shares of VAFC, Patrick Partouche, CEO of the eponymous casino group, has never hidden his interest in the Hainaut club. Just maintained in Ligue 2 one day from the end, Valenciennes, in economic difficulty, could change hands soon. President of the club for eight years and majority shareholder, Eddy Zdziech mandated the bank KPMG a few weeks ago to find a buyer.
Man from the region, renowned casino operator, former minority shareholder of Losc and minority shareholder of VA since 2017, Patrick Partouche has, on paper, the profile to take over the club. Except that the businessman is wary of a sale that has already been announced several times in the past without effect. “I didn’t like the film the first or second time around. And I rarely go back to see a film that I didn’t like”, explains to 20 Minutes Patrick Partouche who has not spoken to Eddy Zdziech for several years due to a conflicting shareholders’ pact.
“I will listen to what the buyers want to do for VA”
Under these conditions, the casino operator has not planned to buy the shares of the current president to become the majority. On the other hand, it does not exclude working and helping a future buyer. “Once KPMG has identified potential or existing buyers who would declare themselves, then the bank will do its job of shaping and discussing with partners such as me in a possible takeover of the club”, assures the businessman waiting to see if things will change quickly.
“The day when I will be sent a letter to tell me that Eddy Zdziech has signed an irrevocable promise of sale to any entity, there will necessarily be a discussion with the partners. And at that time, depending on who, what, how, how much and above all for what, I will listen to what the buyers want to do for VA. Everything else doesn’t matter, including the latest statements from the current president.
Partouche does not want to be president of VA
One thing is certain, whatever the case, Patrick Partouche does not plan to become the future president of the VAFC. “Whether such and such is president, it doesn’t matter. It is only important for the one who wants to be in the picture. Because there are plenty of ways to participate in the development of Valenciennes. We [le groupe Partouche] you can be a sponsor, you can be a partner, you can help build loyalty, you can create marketing strategies. We are not penguins after all! We have contacts, we can do a lot of things, ”recalls Patrick Partouche.
He continues: “What is important is to know what the potential buyers want to do with the VAFC. And depending on what they want to do with it, I will subscribe to the project or not. And if I’m not interested, maybe I’ll sell my shares. But today, the only question is when the club will be sold. “The countdown has begun even if for the moment no buyer has yet officially declared itself.