Silvio Berlusconi has sold AC Milan to Chinese-led consortium Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux after protracted negotiations. The former Italian prime minister had owned the team since 1986.
In a joint statement, Berlusconi's holding company Finivest and Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux announced that the 80-year-old's entire stake in AC Milan - 99.93 percent - has been sold to the consortium, led by Chinese businessman Yonghong Li.
Berlusconi has owned the Italian club for the last 31 years, in which time Milan have won eight league titles and five European Cups/Champions Leagues. The long-awaited deal, is estimated to be worth 740 million euros ($788 million), making it the largest Chinese investment into a European club. It values Milan at 740 million euros (about $800 million), and requires the investors to spend 350 million euros ($372 million) over three years on improvements.
"The buyers also confirmed their commitment to undertake significant capital increases and liquidity injections aimed at strengthening AC Milan's financial structures," the joint statement read.
"Tomorrow, Friday April 14, AC Milan's shareholders' meeting will resolve, inter alia, on the appointment of the new governance bodies of the company," AC Milan said in a statement posted on their website.
The deal comes a year after Suning Commerce Group purchased Milan rival Internazionale FC. A Chinese firm also underwrites the media rights to Serie A, Italy's top football league.
dv/mp (AFP, Reuters)