• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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U.S firm Oaktree Capital takes over Inter Milan over €395m loan default


A U.S. investment firm Oaktree Capital Management has assumed full control of Serie A champions Inter Milan after Chinese firm Suning defaulted on a €395 million ($428 million) loan payment.

Suning, which acquired a 68.7% stake in Inter Milan in 2016, had taken a €275 million loan at 12% interest from Oaktree Capital to support the club during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over time, the debt increased to nearly €400 million. Inter Milan’s outgoing president, Steven Zhang, unsuccessfully sought refinancing options from other lenders, including Pimco.

Following Suning’s failure to meet the repayment deadline, Oaktree Capital took over control of Inter Milan.

In a recent statement addressing concerns over the club’s financial stability, Zhang criticized Oaktree for their lack of engagement in efforts to achieve a financial solution. Oaktree, however, confirmed the takeover, stating:

“As of May 22, funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (‘Oaktree’) have assumed ownership of FC Internazionale Milano following the non-repayment of Oaktree’s three-year loan to Inter Milan’s holding companies, which matured on May 21, 2024, with a balance of approximately €395 million.

“In May 2021, as Inter Milan faced significant financial losses, Oaktree provided rescue capital to stabilize the club’s operations, including paying players and employees. Over the past three years, Inter has achieved notable successes, including winning its eighth and ninth Coppa Italia titles, securing its sixth, seventh, and eighth Supercoppa, earning its 20th Scudetto title, and reaching the UEFA Champions League final for the first time since 2010.

“Oaktree is dedicated to the long-term prosperity of Inter Milan, with an initial focus on operational and financial stability. We value the legacy of the club, the passion of the players, the loyalty of the Interisti, and the club’s significant role in Milan, Italy, and the global sporting community.

“We are committed to working closely with Inter Milan’s current management team, partners, the league, and governing bodies to ensure the club is positioned for success on and off the pitch, focusing on robust management, operations, and governance with a vision for sustainable growth and success.”

Oaktree also indicates plans to communicate with key stakeholders in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition. Despite the takeover, the day-to-day operations of the club are expected to remain unchanged for now.