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Inter Milan win: US firm Oaktree puts the boot in over Suning's debts

Inter's Marcus Thuram celebrates their victory of the "scudetto" after the Serie A soccer match between Inter and Lazio at the San Siro Stadium in Milan on 19 May 2024
Inter's Marcus Thuram celebrates their victory of the "scudetto" after the Serie A soccer match between Inter and Lazio at the San Siro Stadium in Milan on 19 May 2024 Copyright Spada//Spada/LaPresse
Copyright Spada//Spada/LaPresse
By Euronews
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US investment management firm Oaktree wins Inter Milan after previous owner failed to meet a deadline to repay a debt of nearly €400 million.

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American fund Oaktree has officially became the new owner of Serie A champion Inter Milan, bringing an end to Suning's eight years in charge.

Oaktree took over after Suning failed to meet Tuesday's deadline of repaying a debt of nearly €400 million. 

That figure stems from a loan, with interest, taken out three years ago, soon after Inter won its previous league title. It was known at the time the club was going to be hit by record losses because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"As of May 22, 2024, funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, LP are the owners of Inter. This follows the failure to repay the three-year loan granted by Oaktree to Inter's holding company, having expired May 22, 2024 with an overall balance of approximately 395 million euros," Oaktree said in a statement. 

No plans to sell on, it seems

Managing director Alejandro Cano said it is looking to the club's long-term future.

"As new owners, we recognize our responsibility to Inter Milan's community, history and legacy," Cano said in a statement. "We are committed to the long-term success of the Nerazzurri and believe our ambitions for the club are united with those of its passionate fans in Italy and around the world.

"Our initial focus is operational and financial stability. We have great respect for Inter Milan's management team and look forward to working closely with them to provide strong leadership for the club."

The news comes three days after Inter was presented with its 20th league title amid a party atmosphere at San Siro.

Suning takeover marked start of a winning combination

Chinese retail giant Suning took over Inter in 2016, ending a three-year reign by a consortium led by Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir. Massimo Moratti had been in charge since 1995 before selling a majority share of the club to Thohir.

Five years after Suning took over, Inter won its first Serie A title in more than a decade. That was Inter's first trophy since 2011 and the first league title since 2010.

Inter went on to win two Italian Cup trophies and three Italian Super Cups as well as earning its 20th Serie A title this season — and a coveted second star on its jersey. The Nerazzurri also reached the Champions League final last year.

"Winning the second star was a pivotal moment for the club and our aim is to build on the momentum achieved on the pitch to develop a clear path for consistent growth and success," Cano added.

Inter is the seventh Serie A club under American ownership. The others are AC Milan, Atalanta, Fiorentina, Roma, Genoa and newly-promoted Parma. American-owned Serie B side Venezia is also in contention for promotion.

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