PARIS, July 6 -- French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen has officially confirmed Monday to complete the ownership transfer of Ligue 2 club Sochaux to a Chinese company Ledus.
"This is the culmination of a process begun almost a year ago," said the second division club's president Denis Worbe at the club's Bonal stadium.
It makes Sochaux the first soccer club in Europe under the full control of a Chinese investor, and the third in Francewith a foreign ownership following Ligue 1 clubs Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain.
"We do not want to change anything in the club," said Li Wing Sang, chairman of Ledus' holding company, the Tech Pro Technology Development, who accompanied Worbe at a press conference on Monday.
"The goal is to keep its culture and to make its history continue," Li said, ensuring to "be there for the long term". "We are not traders," he said.
Ledus, a Hong Kong listed electrical components manufacturer specializing in the production of LED-based lighting systems, had contacted the club's previous owners Peugeot in February to propose a "credible project for the club" for "all the issued share capital and voting rights".
Seven weeks ago, Ledus reached an agreement with the French automotive giant of buying 100% of Sochaux's shares for seven million euros.
"We hope to return to Ligue 1 in the shortest possible time," added Li on Monday. With that intent, the new owners of the club promised to allocate a higher budget than last season.
"FCSM make an international brand reach many markets," he explained.
Sochaux is one of the oldest club in French soccer leagues, founded by the Peugeot family in 1928 for its workers. It had spent a record 66 seasons in the top flight before being relegated in 2014.
The club won two Ligue 1 champions in 1935 and 1938 as well as the French Cup holders in 1937 and 2007.
With the 2015-2016 season of Ligue 2 scheduled to kick off late this month, the club's first team and technique staff are focused on the summer preparation before traveling to Clermont on July 31 for their opening match.
PSA Peugeot Citroen, who has in recent times focused on motor racing and tennis, announced last year that it wanted to sell the football club and concentrate on auto racing, while Tech Pro and its Ledus subsidiary, which specializes in making LED products, wants to use Sochaux to promote its expansion in Europe.