Italian football giants AC Milan could be in new hands by Friday evening.
Plans are reportedly being finalised to sell the club to a consortium of Chinese investors
If it goes ahead, the sale will end Italian former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s three decades of ownership.
#BREAKING Chinese investor signs preliminary deal to buy AC Milan— AFP news agency (@AFP) August 5, 2016
+++ Fininvest announce signing of preliminary agreement with a Chinese consortium for the sale of AC Milan pic.twitter.com/fI9tMWhdDe— AC Milan News (@MiIaneIlo) August 5, 2016
When will the deal be completed?
By the end of the year, if it gets the go-ahead, sources say.
Sources have previously told the Reuters news agency that the offer values the club at between 700 and 750 million euros.
Berlusconi with representatives of the Chinese consortium in Saridina today. [via
AndreaLongoni5</a>] <a href="https://t.co/cFcT6Yx4gk">pic.twitter.com/cFcT6Yx4gk</a></p>— TheMilanBible (TheMilanBible) August 5, 2016
Exclusive talks started in May between the Chinese consortium and Berlusconi, who owns the club through family holding company Fininvest.
At the time, the group of five or six investors was reported by the Reuters news agency as being headed by private investment firm GSR Capital.
Discussions have slowed down in recent weeks due to Chinese bureaucratic and regulatory hurdles.
Berlusconi also underwent heart surgery in June.
Is this the first time Berlusconi has tried to sell the club?
Talks with Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol foundered last year.
Berlusconi changed his mind about selling a majority stake at the last minute.
What about investment in the club?
This will be a major concern for fans.
Sources say AC Milan is in need of fresh capital in order to compete with other top European clubs. The club posted a loss of 93.5 million euros last year.
In July, Berlusconi said he had accepted the valuation proposed by the Chinese consortium, adding that he had demanded they commit to investing 400 million euros over two years.
After 30 years as controlling shareholder & club president, Berlusconi is set to sell
ACMilan</a> to Chinese investors.<a href="https://t.co/QFTIrKLhjH">https://t.co/QFTIrKLhjH</a></p>— The Lads (LadsOffThePitch) August 5, 2016
What the papers say
Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore says on its website that AC Milan will be bought by “Sino-Europe Investment Management Changxing” for 740 million euros.
The price, the paper says, includes around 220 million euros of debt.
The group is part-owned by Chinese state-owned development fund Haixia Capital, along with businessman Yonghong Li.
He has been involved in talks with the club, according to the newspaper.
What they are saying
“Today will be an important day for the possible sale of the club,” – a source close to the news.