US firm takes ownership of Serie A champions Inter Milan

Italian champions Inter Milan have been taken over by California-based investment firm Oaktree Capital Management.

The move comes after the outgoing group, China’s Suning Holdings, defaulted on its debt of almost €400 million euros.

In a statement on Wednesday, Oaktree announced that it had “assumed control” of Inter following the non-repayment of a “three-year loan to Inter Milan’s parent companies due on 21 May 2024 with a total balance due of approximately €395 million”.

Using its controlling stake in the club as collateral, the Chinese conglomerate borrowed 275 million euros in 2021 at an interest rate of over 12 per cent to pay staff and players as the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the finances of clubs across Europe.

However they lost their controlling stake in the 20-time Italian champions after failing to repay the loan on time. As a result, Oaktree Capital Management, founded in 1995 , took over the club’s finances.

Oaktree, which has $192 billion in assets under management, said it was “committed to working closely with Inter Milan’s current management team, partners, league and governing bodies to ensure the club is positioned for success on and off the pitch”.

Inter became a formidable force both domestically and continentally after being acquired by Suning in 2016, winning seven trophies, including two Serie A titles, and reaching two European finals. However, the club has been a financial failure, having invested around €900 million since.

This season the Nerazzurri, led by head coach Simone Inzaghi, won the Scudetto with five games to spare, beating AC Milan in a thrilling local derby.


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