Inter Milan takeover: Suning Commerce Group Ltd buys 68.55%
A Chinese retail giant has agreed to buy nearly a 70% controlling stake of Serie A side Inter Milan.
Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd will pay 280m euros (£220m) for the majority stake as part of an overall £750m euro (£590m) deal.
Ex-owner Erick Thohir remains as president with a reduced stake of 31%.
“Suning will inject a steady stream of capital investment in Inter Milan, which will help attract more talented players,” said chairman Zhang Jindong.
There will be no changes to Inter’s management team, with Roberto Mancini remaining as manager and Michael Bolingbroke staying on as chief executive.
Suning are taking on 230m Euros (£180m) of debt and a 100m euro (£79m) loan from Thohir.
Former Inter president Massimo Moratti will sell off his entire stake of just under 30% and will leave the club.
The club has been under foreign control since Indonesian businessman Thohir took a 70% stake in 2013.
Thohir’s International Sports Capital now becomes the sole minority shareholder, meaning the club is entirely in foreign hands for the first time.
Suning also controls Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning, who signed Brazilian midfielder Ramires from Chelsea for 25m euros in January.
Inter’s rivals AC Milan, with whom they share the city’s iconic San Siro stadium, are also in talks with Chinese investors over a possible sale following 30 years under the control of former Italy prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
It seems as if Italian clubs are now going to have to be more open to International and particular Asian investment as the gap between themselves and other European clubs widens
The only real exceptions in the past 6 years have Inter themselves back in 2010 under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho and Juventus who got to the Champions League Final back in 2015
They are still undoubtedly big clubs in stature with Juventus still able to hold their own with the might of the Fiat ownership behind them but the Milan clubs have certainly fallen off the pace in the last half a decade.
They will now look to the far east to try and rectify that problem and get a seat back at the European top table. Only then can they start to think about knocking Juventus off their perch.