[Inter Milan] Chinese Suning taking over Inter Milan
A Chinese retail giant has agreed to buy nearly a 70% controlling stake of Serie A side Inter Milan.
Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd will pay 280m euros (£220m) for the majority stake as part of an overall £750m euro (£590m) deal.
Ex-owner Erick Thohir remains as president with a reduced stake of 31%.
“Suning will inject a steady stream of capital investment in Inter Milan, which will help attract more talented players,” said chairman Zhang Jindong.
There will be no changes to Inter’s management team, with Roberto Mancini remaining as manager and Michael Bolingbroke staying on as chief executive.
Suning are taking on 230m Euros (£180m) of debt and a 100m euro (£79m) loan from Thohir.
Former Inter president Massimo Moratti will sell off his entire stake of just under 30% and will leave the club, ending a direct association dating back to 1995 when he became president.
The club has been under foreign control since Indonesian businessman Thohir took a 70% stake in 2013.
Thohir’s International Sports Capital now becomes the sole minority shareholder, meaning the club is entirely in foreign hands for the first time.
Suning also controls Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning, who signed Brazilian midfielder Ramires from Chelsea for 25m euros in January.
Inter’s rivals AC Milan, with whom they share the city’s iconic San Siro stadium, are also in talks with Chinese investors over a possible sale following 30 years under the control of former Italy prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
In 2010 under Jose Mourinho, Inter became the first Italian club to win the the league, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble but have missed out on European football twice in the past three years. Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini secured a fourth-placed finish in 2015-16.