Chinese private-equity fund LionRock Capital has acquired a 31.05-per-cent stake in Inter Milan, with the deal ending the interest of former owner, Erick Thohir, in the Italian Serie A football club.
The Indonesian businessman’s International Sports Capital vehicle has sold its stake in Inter, which is majority owned by Chinese conglomerate Suning. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Commenting on the transaction, Steven Zhang, Inter president, said: “In 2018, thanks to the efforts of the entire staff, of our management, coaching team and players, we have achieved strong results in sports performance, commercial growth, and marketing and media innovations.
“This gives us full confidence for the future development of the club and has led to the interest of LionRock Capital. In addition to this partnership, we also look forward to establishing further global sporting and commercial relationships.
“Together with our partners, we continue working on our prime objective – to make Inter a top club worldwide on and off the pitch and to provide the best possible experience for millions of Inter fans.”
Daniel Kar Keung Tseung, founder and managing director of LionRock Capital, added: “We are very optimistic about the business development prospects of all sports related activities and with over 110 years of history and global influence in the football area, FC Internazionale Milano has exciting future development potential. LionRock Capital will fully support Inter’s key objective to make the club one of the world’s top football clubs both on and off pitch.”
In June 2016, Suning Holdings Group announced a deal to take over Inter and set a target of restoring the status of the Milan giant to being one of the world’s top 10 football clubs. Suning acquired a majority stake of 68.55 per cent in Inter for around €270m ($308.1m).
As result of the transactions, Thohir had held 31.05 per cent of the club through International Sports Capital.