Chinese investors set to takeover AC Milan for €700mn

Chinese entrepreneurs are set to take a further step into the international football arena.

A Chinese consortium led by Chinese venture-capital firm GSR Ventures is in advanced talks to takeover Italian soccer team AC Milan from Silvio Berlusconi’s Fininvest SpA, according to Bloomberg.

The GSR Capital will raise approximately €500 million to acquire 80% of shares of the football team and takeover the remaining 20% by raising €200 million in two to three years, according to people familiar with the situation.

The deal will involve new sponsorship agreements with the seven-time European champion. Steven Zheng, a Chinese businessman with solar power interests, is also part of the buyer group, the people said.

Berlusconi, the former Italian premier, said this month he had reached a deal in principle with the Chinese consortium without identifying its makeup.

Should the acquisition go through, Chinese investors would control both Milan soccer teams following last month’s investment by Suning who bought 70% stake in Inter Milan for US$306 million.