The recently crowned Serie A champions have agreed to a deal that will see American investment company purchase a minority stake of the club in order to shore up Inter’s troubled finances. Although no details have been yet made public by either of the parties, it is reported that the club will receive the aid of €275 million ($336 million) from their new stakeholders with most of it in the form of a loan.
Inter Milan’s Chinese owners Suning are the majority stakeholders of the club at 68.5 percent. Suning will give Oaktree a 31 percent stake in the club as part of this deal. The owners of the Chinese retail giant Suning Holding Group are hopeful that the deal will help them cope with the losses that were a direct outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic. The club’s most recent full-year financials show a loss of €102.4 million (US$125.1 million) for 2019/20, with revenue falling €45 million (US$54.9 million) to €372.4 million (454.8 million).
In a statement to Italian news agency ANSA, Inter said, “Following a process of due diligence and with a collective long-term vision of the project, Inter has today finalized a financing deal with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.”
According to reports, the American firm will channel the loan through a Luxembourg-based holdings company named Great Horizon Sarl. The reports suggest that Chinese owners will also use Inter Milan as load collateral. In case the loan remains unpaid by Suning, Oaktree will be able to take full control of the club. The club’s owners are struggling due to the pandemic, which also forced them to halt operations at its Chinese football club Jiangsu FC. It will be intriguing to see whether Inter Milan gives funds to head coach Antonio Conte to defend the Serie A title next season.