Silvio Berlusconi sells AC Milan to Chinese investors
The €740 million sale of AC Milan to Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux, led by Chinese businessmen Yonghong Li and Han Li, has been finalised.
Confirmation of the deal -- the first time in 31 years that the Serie A giants have changed hands -- came after almost two years of negotiations.
It means former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has relinquished control after over three decades at the helm and comes after previous delays.
The sale -- first announced in May 2016 -- was twice postponed because of funding complications, but a loan has enabled Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux to meet its obligations.
"Today Fininvest has completed the sale of the entire stake owned in AC Milan -- equal to 99.93% -- to Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux," read a statement on the club's official website.
"The closing is the last step of the purchase agreement signed on August 5th 2016 and renewed on March 24th by Fininvest CEO Danilo Pellegrino and David Han Li, as a representative of Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux.
"The terms of the agreement are the same disclosed in August and reflect of an aggregate evaluation of AC Milan equal to €740m, which includes the club's indebtedness, equal to €220m as of June 30th 2016. A €90 million refund for AC Milan's running costs anticipated by Fininvest from July 1st 2016 hitherto add up to the evaluation.
"The buyers also confirmed their commitment to undertake significant capital increases and liquidity injections aimed at strengthening AC Milan's financial structure.
"Tomorrow, Friday April 14th, AC Milan's shareholders' meeting will resolve the appointment of the new governance bodies of the company."
Milan have won 29 trophies, including five European Cups, under Berlusconi's ownership.
They face city rivals Inter in the first game under their new ownership this Saturday with both clubs vying for a place in Europe next season.
The Rossoneri -- who have now gone three years without European football, their longest abstinence from the continental stage in the past three decades -- currently lead Inter by two points but are still two points behind fifth-placed Atalanta and an assured place in the Europa League.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.