Red Bird Capital has agreed in principle to take charge of the Italian champions, a year after buying a 10% stake in Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group
Image: NurPhoto Images/PA)
Red Bird Capital, the US investment firm with a minority stake in Liverpool, has reached an agreement in principle to become the new majority owner of AC Milan in a deal expected to be the second most expensive buy of a football club in history.
Historic owners Elliott Advisor, who bought the club four years ago, had been wanting to sell for several months and had already seen a period of exclusive negotiations with another bidder, Investcorp, expire.
This gave Red Bird a chance to get going and they are now set to complete a €1.2bn (£1.02bn) takeover of the Serie A champions by September after “reaching an agreement final,” according to a statement from the club.
Earlier this week Chelsea confirmed they had been taken over by a group led by American Todd Boehly who are valued at £2.5billion. The Milan takeover, should it be finalized, would be the next highest for a football club.
Red Bird is run by former Goldman Sachs executive Gerry Cardinale and they bought a 10% stake in Fenway Sports Group, owners of Liverpool, worth $750 million last year.
Cardinale’s firm bought Ligue 1 club Toulouse in the summer of 2020 and own 15% of the Indian Premier League’s Rajasthan Royals. They claim to have over $5 billion in assets under their management.
“We are honored to be a part of AC Milan’s illustrious history and are delighted to play a part in the club’s next chapter as it regains its rightful place at the top of Italian, European and world football.” declared Cardinal.
“RedBird’s investment philosophy and track record in team ownership has shown that football clubs can be successful on the pitch and sustainable off it – we look forward to a long-term partnership with the club, its management team and Milanisti around the world to continue to propel Milan into the years to come.
Elliott will retain a minority financial stake in Milan, the statement said, and they will retain a seat on the board. They took over from Chinese businessman Li Yonghong, who defaulted on large debts four years ago.
Gordon Singer, Eliott’s managing partner, said: “When Elliott acquired AC Milan in 2018, we inherited a club with a great history but with serious financial problems and poor sporting performance.
“Our plan was simple: to create financial stability and restore AC Milan to their place in European football. Today, I believe we have accomplished both. As we make this remarkable transition to the next chapter of the ‘AC Milan, I would like to express our deepest sense of humility, pride and above all gratitude for the experiences we have shared with each member of the AC Milan family: we could have done nothing this without you, Il Popolo Milanista.