Football: Investcorp in exclusive talks to buy AC Milan, say sources

The deal to buy the seven-time European champions from current owners Elliott Management Corporation was close to completion. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Bahrain-based asset manager Investcorp has entered into exclusive talks to purchase Serie A club AC Milan, sources familiar with the deal said on Friday (April 15), in what would be the first takeover of a top Italian team by Middle East investors.

One source close to the deal told Reuters the deal to buy the seven-time European champions from current owners Elliott Management Corporation was close to completion.

Media reports put the potential purchase price at €1 billion (S$1.47 billion), but there was no confirmation of the talks or potential amount involved from either company.

Investcorp manages over US$42 billion (S$57 billion) in assets with business lines including private equity, real estate, absolute return investments, infrastructure, credit management, and strategic capital.

Investcorp and Elliott, which took over Milan in 2018, would not comment when contacted by Reuters.

An AC Milan spokesperson said only that "AC Milan remains focused on improving its performance on the pitch and to develop the club".

A second source briefed with the matter confirmed talks between Elliott and Investcorp over a potential sale.

Milan have won Italy's top flight league title 18 times but not since 2011.

They have struggled to recreate the glory years enjoyed under the ownership of Silvio Berlusconi and his Mediaset group.

Milan are currently top of the table, two points clear of city rivals Inter Milan but having played a game more.

In Italy's top flight, Inter are owned by Chinese company Suning, while American company The Friedkin Group own AS Roma.

Fiorentina and Atalanta are also American-owned.

While not present in Italian football, Middle Eastern investors control several other top European clubs, with Qatari Sports Investments owning Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City held by the Abu Dhabi United Group.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund took a majority stake in Premier League club Newcastle United in October.

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