AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has signed a pre-sale agreement to sell 48 percent of his one of Europe’s most storied clubs to a group led by Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol(Mr. Bee) by the end of September.
A spokesman for holding company Fininvest said:
‘A deadline of September 30 has been set for transfer of the stake and payment of the 480 million euros by September 30. ‘
The Serie A soccer club is owned by Fininvest, Berlusconi’s family holding company which also controls Italian TV broadcaster Mediaset and publisher Mondadori.
“A great honour to complete the AC Milan agreement with President Berlusconi, a phenomenal leader,” wrote Mr Bee on Twitter and Instagram.
He also spoke to Premium Sport Mediaset, one of Berlusconi’s TV companies, and the full interview will be aired this evening.
“You’ll see me often at San Siro as a fan with President Berlusconi. So we can win together? Naturally.
“We signed an agreement that will allow our investors to start working for the club very soon. We are in agreement, we want to help Milan grow even more all over the world.”
Mr. Bee paid a hefty premium to grab a minority stake in Milan. Earlier this year Forbes valued Milan at $775 million (€690).
In 2004 Milan were the most valuable club in the world, and now they are 10th and sliding.
“Ten or fifteen years ago, Seria A was the place to be,” explained James Pallotta, an American hedge fund manager who through Raptor Group owns Serie a side A.S. Roma since 2011. “Because they were at the top, they didn’t think they had to do that much, so they got blind-sided, as the ownership group wasn’t that sophisticated,” said the first foreigner ever to buy an Italian team. The American is no fool: despite crumbling state-owned stadiums, fan violence, and the lack of professional management, Pallotta truly believes “Serie A provides the greatest opportunity” in terms of potential returns, explaining why Mr. Bee was willing to pay a premium to get a part of AC Milan.