Private equity groups continue to push into European soccer, capitalizing on clubs and leagues’ need to recover revenue lost during the pandemic.
Suning Holdings has begun negotiations with various investors to sell all or parts of its 68.5% stake in Serie A side Inter Milan, hiring Goldman Sachs as an advisor.
Sweden’s EQT, U.S.-based Arctos Sports Partners and London’s BC Partners are among private equity firms interested in the team. It’s unclear if Lionrock Capital, which owns 31.5% of Inter Milan, is looking to sell its holding.
These Inter Milan talks follow a trend of investment in soccer overseas:
- American firms CVC Capital Partners and Advent International, along with Italy’s FSI Fund, spent over $2 billion for 10% of the company Serie A created to handle its media rights.
- Germany’s Bundesliga and Spain’s La Liga are also talking to private equity investors about stakes in their media companies.
- Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney purchased Welsh team Wrexham AFC in November, one of many North American ownership groups to buy into the sport in the last year.
Last season, Inter Milan had a pre-tax loss of just over $123 million, but the team did get a legal win to start the new year.
Inter Milan won a trademark infringement lawsuit over upstart Inter Miami when it was ruled that “Inter” is only synonymous with the Italian powerhouse.