Yonghong Li seeks partners. According to ‘Reuters’, Milan’s Chinese owner is searching for one or more investors to share the financial burden.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has finalized the sale of Milan in April in what was the largest Chinese investment in a European football club.
Currently, Mr. Li is the only real investor after his partners pulled back following Beijing’s tightening on foreign acquisitions.
The Chinese investor would be interested in sharing the financial risk associated with management and investment in the club, which has lost €75 million in 2016 and should remain in the red for at least another year.
However, a spokesman for Milan has stated that there are no indications of potential changes in club ownership at this time. Reuters wasn’t able to reach Mr. Li or his representatives in China to further ask questions on this matter.
A second source said that Mr. Li is also considering the listing of the club on the stock exchange within a couple of years. Rumors are also stating that other Chinese investors might emerge if the Chinese authorities soften their position on foreign investment after the Chinese Communist Party’s Congress of October 18th.
Beside the search for new potential investors, Mr. Li’s advisers are also working on the possibility of refinancing the Chinese group’s debt with the US stock market Elliott. The rumor over the past few weeks that Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch are running for refinancing seems to be confirmed. Loans, with an average rate of just 10%, will have to be repaid by October 2018.