Inter Milan close to €275m bailout by private equity firm Oaktree
Inter Milan is said to be closing in on a €275m (£237m) bailout by US private equity firm Oaktree Capital to shore up its finances following the collapse of the European Super League.
As part of the deal, Oaktree would take a 30 per cent stake in the Italian football team and provide a much-needed loan, Bloomberg reported.
The stake would be bought from Hong Kong-based private equity group Lionrock Capital, which also backs shoe brand Clarks and taxi app Hailo.
The move could lead to Oaktree taking full control of Inter from its Chinese owner Suning Holdings Group, according to the report.
An announcement is expected as soon as today, with Lionrock’s Tom Pitts resigning from the team’s board.
The bailout would come as Inter scrambles to balance its books following a turbulent period for its finances.
Some of the team’s Chinese sponsorship deals dried up at the end of last year, putting pressure on the board to secure more funding.
The challenge has since mounted after the doomed European Super League project was scrapped. The controversial breakaway league would have guaranteed at least €300m for the Serie A side.
The club has reportedly failed to pay regular salaries to its players in recent months, even asking them to give up part of their annual salaries.
If confirmed, the deal will initially see Oaktree partner with Suning to secure Inter’s financial footing.
If Suning is not able to repay its debt after three years, the loan could turn into equity. This would allow the US fund to take full control.
The deal raises the prospect of a second top-flight Italian football club passing into US ownership.
In 2018 Elliott Management took control of local rival AC Milan after its Chinese owner failed to repay debts.
All parties declined to comment to Bloomberg on the deal.