AC Milan, current champion of Serie A, announced this Wednesday that the investment fund RedBird Capital Partners is its new owner after paying 1,200 million euros. The club rossonero It had accumulated several years of economic difficulties and its previous owner, the American Paul Elliot, had been looking for a buyer for some time. After weeks of negotiation, the company in which, among others, the Lakers player LeBron James and rapper Drake are shareholders, has closed the acquisition of the club for a figure that is equivalent to almost six times the income of AC Milan, close to 216 million according to the latest report Football Money League.
In addition to the investment fund, the New York Yankees will also have a minority stake in the Italian team. The company Yankee Global Enterprises, owner of the United States baseball team, valued at nearly 5,000 million euros, has been associated for years with the RedBird fund and together they plan to combine the potential of both teams. “We will look to explore opportunities together to expand our reach and expand business opportunities that are only available to franchises operating at the highest levels of sports globally,” said Gerry Cardinale, founder and director of RedBird, in the published statement. for Milan.
Cardinale has other sports investments worth $7.5 billion through RedBird. The fund owns 85% of Toulouse, the Ligue 1 team, which achieved promotion last season, as well as 10% of Fenway Sports Group, another investment fund that has assets in Liverpool, as well as in the team Boston Red Sox baseball and Pittsburgh Penguins ice hockey. According to the Italian press, Cardinale offered a figure close to 1,000 million euros three months ago, but then an offer from a Bahrain investment fund appeared, and the Americans decided to raise the bid. In Serie A there are currently five clubs owned by American companies: Milan, Roma, Fiorentina, Atalanta and Spezia.
In this way, Milan will have its fourth owner in just five years. In 2017, Chinese businessman Li Yonghong bought the club rossonero to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for a figure close to 740 million euros. Fans hoped that the arrival of foreign capital would reinvigorate a club that had not been in contention for a title for several years, but that hope was quickly dashed. Far from reviving the club, Yonghong accumulated debts and in just one year he had to leave the club because he could not make the payments. This is how Paul Elliot came to lead the team, almost by accident. The American had lent 180 million to Yonghong for the purchase of the club, in addition to other transfers that, when he did not collect, he settled with the change in ownership of the club.
This year, Milan won Serie A again after an 11-year drought, and will play their second consecutive season in the Champions League after seven years. Sportingly, the team is back on its feet, but financially the situation has been critical. In 2018, when Elliot took over the club, the losses were 126 million euros and the situation worsened the following year with the outbreak of the pandemic. The 2019-20 season, due to the crisis generated by the coronavirus pandemic and the non-classification in European competitions, Milan reached red numbers of 194.6 million euros and the following year, the losses were another 93 million. Elliot has carried out a salary reduction policy these years, focusing his investment in the club to eliminate debt, managing to stabilize the situation to end fiscal year 2021 with a positive equity of 70 million dollars. According to the magazine ForbesAC Milan is valued at 1,200 million dollars (about 1,194 million euros).
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Source: EL PAIS