Energy giant Ineos has snapped up Swiss football club Lausanne-Sport for an undisclosed sum.
The company, which moved its main headquarters back from Switzerland to the UK last year, bought the team from Alain Joseph, who has served as president of Lausanne-Sport for more than four years.
The deal still requires approval by the Swiss Football League, though Ineos said a decision may take two to four weeks.
Mr Joseph said he believed the football club would transferring into good hands.
He added: “I strongly believe that Ineos is undoubtedly the best possible owner going forwards. They have the ambition, the drive the vision and commitment that is needed to take the club to the next level.”
Ineos, which was traditionally focused on petrochemicals but has recently been building up a portfolio of UK North Sea oil and gas assets, said it believed Lausanne-Sport could climb to the top of the Swiss league and go on to qualify for European football.
David Thompson, chief executive of new subsidiary Ineos Football, added: “Ineos is excited about taking this major step into top-class football as part of our wider commitment to encourage youth sport in Lausanne and Canton Vaud.
“We hope and expect that this new investment in the team will take Football Club Lausanne-Sport forward to further success, and we see no reason why this could not mean playing in Europe.”
The team will continue to be managed by Fabio Celestini, with Ineos giving him and his coaching staff “full backing”.
Ineos said the move was preceded by years of investment in youth and community sport in Rolle, Switzerland, where it relocated to in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis.
The petrochemicals firm still has a number of its business based in Switzerland, where it employs around 110 staff. The football club is the latest acquisition by the firm, which last month completed its purchase of Forties Pipeline System in the North Sea from BP.
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