AC Milan sold to Chinese consortium

The deal, which values Milan at about $800 million, requires the investors to spend $372 million over three years on improvements

13 April 2017 | 16:38

  • Last update: 13 April 2017 | 16:38

In this June 6, 2014 file photo, AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi, left, holds a Milan shirt flanked by his daughter Barbara during a visit to the new team headquarter in Milan, Italy. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

MILAN: The takeover of AC Milan was completed Thursday, with Silvio Berlusconi selling the club to a Chinese consortium after 31 years in charge.

The group, led by Chinese businessman Yonghong Li, has been attempting to buy Milan for some time but the deal has hit a series of delays and the sale has been postponed twice.

"I thank Berlusconi and Fininvest for their trust and the fans for their patience, from today we will build the future," Li said.

Berlusconi's holding company, Fininvest, released a statement announcing that it had completed the transfer of its 99.93 percent stake in Milan to Rossoneri Sport Luxembourg — which was formerly known as Sino-Europe Sports.

"Today's finalization gives full effect to the takeover agreement," Fininvest said in the statement.

The deal, which values Milan at 740 million euros (about $800 million), requires the investors to spend 350 million euros ($372 million) over three years on improvements.

"The buyers have confirmed their commitment to fulfill important recapitalization investments to the balance sheet and strengthen AC Milan's finances and assets," Fininvest said.

A general shareholders' meeting has been called for Friday when the names of the new president and directors will be announced. There is also expected to be a news conference on Friday.

The new owners' first match will be Saturday's derby against Inter Milan, which is also owned by a Chinese company.

During Berlusconi's reign, Milan won a number of trophies at home and abroad. The Rossoneri won eight league titles, one Italian Cup and seven Super Cups as well as five Champions League trophies and five UEFA Super Cups.

But the famous Italian club has slipped from the top in recent years and is currently sixth in Serie A.

Milan won the Italian Super Cup in December, beating Juventus for its first trophy in six years.

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