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SBD Global/August 3, 2012/International Football

Chinese Investors Will Become The Second-Biggest Shareholder Of Inter Milan

Inter Milan defender Javier Zanetti reacts during a match with AC Milan at San Siro stadium in May.
A group of Chinese investors is set to become Serie A Inter Milan’s "second-biggest shareholder following the Italian football club’s agreement to sell a block of shares in line with its attempt to raise its profile among Asian fans of the sport," according to Coleman, Hille & Sylvers of the FINANCIAL TIMES. One of the investors, a company controlled by China Railway Construction, "will develop a new football stadium with Internazionale Holding," the football club's parent. The stadium is set to be completed in '17. Internazionale announced it would add three new directors as a result of the investment: Kamchi Li, Kenneth Huang and Fabrizio Rindi. The Moratti family, who owns about two-thirds of oil refinery Saras, "will retain control of the club." Terms of the deal were not disclosed, however, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera revealed that the Chinese investors would pay €70M ($85.3M) for a 15% stake in Inter, valuing it at €467M ($568.8M). They paper would not reveal its sources (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/2).

NEW CHAPTER: Inter Milan is calling the Chinese investment a "new phase in the life of the club," and said the move was "aimed at expanding its presence in the Asian markets to raise new resources for the enhancement of its international future development and winning perspectives." A statement said that the location of the new stadium has yet to be decided (BBC, 8/2). REUTERS' Aloisi, Huang & Ruwitch noted the stadium would have a capacity of 60,000 and "construction would start next year." The current San Siro Stadium boasts a capacity of 80,065. China Railway Construction has "actively pursued overseas investment this year," signing two projects in Africa with a total contract value of 9.1B yuan ($1.4B). In Nov. '11, a consortium involving the Shanghai-listed company "announced a deal to develop an iron ore mine in Guinea." China Railway Construction shares were down about 2% at 6:40am GMT (REUTERS, 8/2). BLOOMBERG's Martinuzzi & Panja noted a source said that the new stadium will be 2.5k from San Siro on the site of the 2016 Milan Expo. The facility has municipal planning approval and will be open in time for the Expo. It will not be shared with AC Milan. Chinese builders have increased their focus overseas because of "slower growth at home and after the government cut spending on new railways last year following a crash." The Morattis were advised on the deal by Four Partners Advisory SIM SpA and Lazard Ltd. and also by law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Gallipos AG and UBS AG worked as financial advisers for the Chinese side, with Studio Legale Associato Negri-Clementi acting as legal advisers (BLOOMBERG, 8/2).
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