Milan - Serie
A giants AC Milan were sold to Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux on
Thursday in a deal which sees the Chinese-led consortium take a 99.9%
stake in the club and which ushers in a new era in Italian football.
The seven-time European champions who are Italy's most successful
club in international competition, have been owned by former three-time
Italy prime minister Silvio Berlusconi since 1986.
After Milan's struggles to match their unrivalled success of the
1990s, Berlusconi, 80, hands over the reigns following a 31-year spell
in charge which garnered five Champions League titles, eight Serie A
titles, seven Italian Super Cups and five UEFA Super Cups.
A joint statement by AC Milan's holding company Fininvest and
Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux said: "Today Fininvest has completed the
sale of the entire stake owned in AC Milan - equal to 99.93% - to
Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux."
The €740 million deal, dogged by months of delays
as the consortium - formerly known as Sino-Europe Sports (SES) -
struggled to meet deadlines for scheduled down payments, was confirmed
shortly after 13:00 GMT.
It sees AC Milan become the second Chinese-owned club in the city, and in Italy's top flight, after Inter Milan.
The joint statement added: "The closing is the last step of the
purchase agreement signed on August 5, 2016 and renewed on March 24
by Fininvest CEO Danilo Pellegrino and David Han Li, as a representative
of Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux.
"The terms of the agreement are the same disclosed in August and
reflect of an aggregate evaluation of AC Milan equal to €740 million, which includes the club’s indebtedness, equal to €220 million as of June 30, 2016.
"A €90 million refund for AC Milan’s running costs anticipated by
Fininvest from July 1, 2016 hitherto add up to the evaluation. The
buyers also confirmed their commitment to undertake significant capital
increases and liquidity injections aimed at strengthening AC Milan’s
In June 2016 the Chinese Suning group owned by commercial tycoon
Zhang Jindong took over control of Inter Milan from Indonesian Erick
Thohir, who acquired a majority stake in the Nerazzurri in October 2013.
Despite massive summer investment, Inter have struggled to repay
Suning's investments on the pitch and are currently one of several
teams, along with AC Milan, battling for a place in next season's Europa
AC Milan's new owners are expected to bring the investment that will
allow the club, who lost the nucleus of their team in 2012 when
Berlusconi sold a host of top stars, to get back into contention for the
Champions League in the future.