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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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American Group Buys $336M Stake In Serie A Champion

  • Oaktree is buying a 31% stake in Inter Milan and loaning the team money in a $336 million deal.
  • The team's revenue dropped 20% in 2020.
Inter Milan/Design: Alex Brooks

Inter Milan won’t be getting that Super League bonus, so instead it is raising capital through an increasingly common source: American investors.

Oaktree Capital Group is buying a 31% stake in the team, currently held by Hong Kong investment firm LionRock Capital, and will loan money to the team in a $336 million deal. At present, Chinese holding company Suning will retain its 68.5% stake, though the deal has not been finalized. 

The Serie A champion’s revenue dropped 20% in 2020 to $355 million.

Oaktree is just the latest U.S.-based investor to buy into a major European soccer club. Nearly half of Premier League teams are fully or partially owned by Americans. 

  • Manchester United is owned by the Glazer family, which bought it in stages for a total price of around $1.13 billion in 2005.
  • Liverpool is owned by Fenway Sports Group, which bought it for $423.5 million in 2010.
  • Arsenal is owned by Stan Kroenke, who recently rebuffed a $2.5 billion offer from Spotify CEO Daniel Ek.
  • Aston Villa, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Leeds United, and Fulham are also owned or co-owned by Americans. 

The Glazers and Kroenke — who, respectively, also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and L.A. Rams — both faced fan protests following the Super League failure, with calls for each to sell their soccer teams.

While Serie A teams are mostly Italian-owned, AC Milan, Fiorentina, Parma, and Spezia all have U.S.-based owners. 

LionRock becomes the latest Greater China investor to divest from European soccer, after Chinese firms poured in funds four years ago.

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