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Silvio Berlusconi between Han Li (left) and Yonghong Li
Silvio Berlusconi between Han Li (left) and Yonghong Li

The sale of AC Milan to Sino Europe Sport (a consortium of Chinese investors), which was originally scheduled to close in December, was postponed again as the funds were not available. The deal with Sino Europe Sport was for €740M (including debt). The investors have already paid €200M as a deposit.

At today’s shareholder meeting, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani stated “Conditions of the contract have not been met so the closing cannot happen today as initially planned. Fininvest is evaluating the possibility of drawing up an agreement to give up its ownership of AC Milan soon.”

Given the uncertainty, rumours were rampant about what would transpire today. Would Fininvest accept another deposit to delay the closing yet again? Would Silvio Berlusconi pull the plug on the whole deal? Is the delay really caused by Chinese government authorizations, or did the investors run away?

A story was published today about the credibility of Yonghong Li and his family, regarding some fraud allegations in China many years ago. Sino Europe Sport addressed this and issued the following statement:

“With regards to a news report published today by an Italian newspaper citing an old Chinese article about allegations regarding Yonghong Li, SES firmly states that these reports are completely baseless.

In expressing its disappointment with the delay in the finalizing the closing, due to causes beyond its control, SES confirms that it is strongly committed to continue working with Fininvest to reach the closing as soon as possible and that a detailed investment plan is ready.”

This saga has been on-going for over two years, and the patience of Milan fans all over the world is running thin.