U.S.-based Krause Group has acquired the controlling stake in Serie A soccer team Parma Calcio 1913. The deal reportedly values the team at over $100 million.
Led by Chairman and CEO Kyle Krause, the Iowa-headquartered Krause Group is the parent company to a variety of businesses, but is best known for its more than 400 Kum & Go convenience stores throughout the Midwest.
The Krause Group now owns a 90% stake in the team and 99% of Progetto Stadio Parma, the company created to oversee renovation of Tardini Stadium. Nuovo Inizio, the previous majority owners, still own 9% of the team, while Parma Partecipazioni Calcistiche — a company that allows fans to buy shares of the team — now owns 1%.
Nuovo Inizio, or “New Beginning,” brought together some of the main parmesan entrepreneurs — Guido Barilla, Mauro Del Rio, Marco Ferrari, Angelo Gandolfi, Giampaolo Dallara, Giacomo Malmesi, Paolo and Pietro Pizzarotti — to found Parma Calcio in July 2015 after it had been relegated to Serie D, the fourth tier of Italian soccer. The team quickly found success, returning to Serie A following three consecutive promotions.
“Once we returned the club of our city to Serie A, restarting from the amateur league only five years ago, Nuovo Inizio shareholders made the commitment to identify a new majority shareholder who would have solidity, passion and the skillset to guarantee a great future for Parma Calcio,” Marco Ferrari, Nuovo Inizio chairman, said in a release.
“The deal signed today signifies the completion of this mission: Kyle Krause’s passion for our country, sport and city makes him perfectly suited to write a new chapter in the history of Parma Calcio,” he said.
Parma Calcio is now the fifth North American-owned Serie A team. The others include AS Roma, Fiorentina, AC Milan and Bologna.
Billionaire Dan Friedkin, owner of Gulf States Toyota, bought AS Roma for $700 million in August.
“I have a deep-rooted, intergenerational passion for both football and our ancestral home of Italy,” said Krause, who also owns the USL League Two club the Des Moines Menace. “I look forward to growing the team, the sport, and its fandom in Parma, Italy, and the world.”