Elliott Management Corporation (EMC), led by American billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer has reportedly completed the takeover of Serie A club AC Milan.
The investment firm has also promised an initial €50 million ($ 58.5 million) cash injection into the club providing a much-needed lifeline at times when it is fighting a sanction that would keep it out of the Europa League this season.
The new owners have said the equity capital should stabilize the seven-time European champion financially. “Financial support, stability and proper oversight are necessary prerequisites for on-field success and a world-class fan experience,” Singer said in a statement.
“Elliott fully appreciates the challenge and responsibility that ownership of this great institution entails,” the New York hedge fund has said in a statement, promising a new chapter to help head coach Rino Gattuso and his team return “the club to the pantheon of top European football clubs where it rightly belongs”.
The move will end the reign of Chinese businessman Yonghong Li who defaulted on its debt payments. Li bought the club from the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in April 2017 for $926 million. The New York hedge fund helped finance the team, ending three decades of ownership under Berlusconi.
According to the reports Li, who was unable to arrange the amount, used a high-interest loan from Elliott Management, $419.3m in offshore funds and just $123.3m of his own money to carry out the purchase.
Li, who currently owes Elliot $37 million, missed Friday’s deadline to repay the company, paving the way for the firm to take control of AC Milan.
On Monday, sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli and Mr. Gattuso had addressed the club’s financial status and ownership questions. “We must restart with great enthusiasm,” putting alibis and problems aside,” Mr. Gattuso had told reporters. “We are here to sweat and to work.”