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Sports

Chinese investor interested in AC Milan

media AC Milan logo Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

A Chinese investor is planning an initial public offering of Italian super club AC Milan with the help of hedge fund Elliott Management. The club may be looking at a listing at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The purchase would be the latest in a Chinese shopping spree to buy Western players and clubs.

Elliott Management revived a Chinese deal to buy the Italian football club from
the Italian company Gruppo Fininvest, the media conglomerate company owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his family.

Elliott has agreed to provide part of the financing for Chinese investor Li Yonghong.

Football shopping spree

People close to the deal say that the going price is 740 million euros.

Last year Chinese company Suining Holdings bought Inter Milan and Lai Guochuan, owner of the Chinese investment group Yunyi Guokai (Shanghai) Sports, bought English Premier League club West Bromwhich Albion.

In May Chinese millionaire Tony Xia Jiantong of the Recon Group bought Aston Villa, another Premier League club, albeit at the time not very high ranking.

The spree seems to have been initiated by Chinese president Xi Jinping, who vowed in 2014 to make China a “world football powerhouse”.

Since then Chinese investment in star players and complete teams has skyrocketed.

Last year alone Clubs in the Chinese top football league spent over 300 million euros on player transfers, while individuals have been busy investing in clubs and players as well, with the Beijing-based property development Wanda Group paying 45 million euros for a 20 percent stake in the Spanish club Atlético Madrid.

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