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AC Milan to be sold

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By Catherine Hardy
AC Milan to be sold

<p>Italian football giants AC Milan could be in new hands by Friday evening.</p> <p>Plans are reportedly being finalised to sell the club to a consortium of Chinese investors</p> <p>If it goes ahead, the sale will end Italian former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s three decades of ownership. <p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BREAKING?src=hash">#BREAKING</a> Chinese investor signs preliminary deal to buy AC Milan</p>— <span class="caps">AFP</span> news agency (@AFP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AFP/status/761535316192849924">August 5, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </p> <p></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">+++ Fininvest announce signing of preliminary agreement with a Chinese consortium for the sale of AC Milan <a href="https://t.co/fI9tMWhdDe">pic.twitter.com/fI9tMWhdDe</a></p>— AC Milan News (@MiIaneIlo) <a href="https://twitter.com/MiIaneIlo/status/761533195389132800">August 5, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </p> <h3><strong>When will the deal be completed?</strong></h3> <p> <p>By the end of the year, if it gets the go-ahead, sources say.</p> <p>Sources have previously told the Reuters news agency that the offer values the club at between 700 and 750 million euros. <p> <h3><strong>The talks</strong></h3> </p> <p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Berlusconi with representatives of the Chinese consortium in Saridina today. [via <a href="https://twitter.com/AndreaLongoni5"><code>AndreaLongoni5</a>] <a href="https://t.co/cFcT6Yx4gk">pic.twitter.com/cFcT6Yx4gk</a></p>&mdash; TheMilanBible (</code>TheMilanBible) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheMilanBible/status/761575698238758913">August 5, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </p></p> <p>Exclusive talks started in May between the Chinese consortium and Berlusconi, who owns the club through family holding company Fininvest.</p> <p>At the time, the group of five or six investors was reported by the Reuters news agency as being headed by private investment firm <span class="caps">GSR</span> Capital.</p> <p>Discussions have slowed down in recent weeks due to Chinese bureaucratic and regulatory hurdles.</p> <p>Berlusconi also underwent heart surgery in June. <p> <h3><strong>Is this the first time Berlusconi has tried to sell the club?</strong></h3> </p></p> <p>No.</p> <p>Talks with Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol foundered last year.</p> <p>Berlusconi changed his mind about selling a majority stake at the last minute. <p> <h3><strong>What about investment in the club?</strong></h3> </p></p> <p>This will be a major concern for fans.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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. <p> <blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">After 30 years as controlling shareholder & club president, Berlusconi is set to sell <a href="https://twitter.com/acmilan"><code>ACMilan</a> to Chinese investors.<a href="https://t.co/QFTIrKLhjH">https://t.co/QFTIrKLhjH</a></p>&mdash; The Lads (</code>LadsOffThePitch) <a href="https://twitter.com/LadsOffThePitch/status/761550552480124928">August 5, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </p> <p> <h3><strong>What the papers say</strong></h3> </p></p> <p>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.</p> <p>The price, the paper says, includes around 220 million euros of debt.</p> <p>The group is part-owned by Chinese state-owned development fund Haixia Capital, along with businessman Yonghong Li.</p> <p>He has been involved in talks with the club, according to the newspaper. <p> <h3><strong>What they are saying</strong></h3> </p></p> <p>“Today will be an important day for the possible sale of the club,” – a source close to the news.</p>