SUNDERLAND have confirmed a takeover by 22-year-old Kyril Louis-Dreyfus whose parents are worth £4.2BILLION.
Mackems owner Stewart Donald has been searching for a buyer for months and has finally agreed a deal to sell.
Documents have been submitted to the EFL who still need to ratify the deal.
But if they rubber stamp the sale, Dreyfus will become chairman of the Weirsiders – who are 11th in League One – early in January.
Dreyfus is the son of Robert Louis-Dreyfus – former CEO at Adidas and majority shareholder Marseille.
And the family’s vast wealth originates from Kyril’s great-great grandfather Leopold – who starting selling wheat in France before the family business diversified into oil and shipping.
Donald said: “It’s been no secret that I have been looking for some time to find the right person to take Sunderland forward and during the course of the last year there have been a lot of different people wanting to take over.
“However, even though it is a matter of public record that some of those bidders offered me more money, I felt that they offered less to the club and to the community.
“Whereas from the early meetings with Kyril, his family and advisers, I have been greatly impressed with their knowledge and understanding, learned over a long period as owners of major football clubs in Belgium and France.
“I believe that experience, combined with a good plan, will provide a platform for the club to progress and I look forward to watching that progress from afar.”
Louis-Dreyfus said: “First, I would like to thank Stewart Donald for his integrity and reasonableness over the last three months, which has led to me having the opportunity to take a controlling stake in Sunderland AFC.
“I am fully aware of the efforts undertaken by the current ownership and board to protect the viability of the club and respect the difficulty of this task, given Sunderland’s recent past and the current economic climate.
“We respectfully await the EFL’s approval for this transaction.
“Nonetheless it would be remiss of me at this stage not to emphasise what an enormous honour it would be for me to become involved with such a historic club, in a city renowned for its rich football culture going back to 1879.
“Many will be aware of my family connections to the industry and, in acquiring Sunderland AFC, I understand the responsibility that’s placed upon me as the custodian of the club’s future.
“Moving forward, we have a long-term strategy which integrates Sunderland’s proud traditions with a modern structure and approach.
“We will seek to be at the frontier of research and innovation in all performance domains and place great emphasis on player development and the team’s style of play.
“We want to create a team that is entertaining to watch and that embodies the spirit and the culture of those who attend, thereby reconnecting the team with its fanbase, whose support will be so vital to our success.
“In the midst of a global pandemic, we should all be aware of the difficult situation the club is currently in and the challenges we face in the months to come.
“However, through hard work, a diligent plan and togetherness from the board of directors, staff, players and supporters we can between us create a brighter future at the Stadium of Light.
“If we all play our parts, I firmly believe we can restore Sunderland AFC to the top tier of English football and I can’t wait to get started.”