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Report: Inter Milan takeover considered by Leeds United owner Aser Ventures

Bid dependent on Andrea Radrizzani’s company selling remaining stake to 49ers Enterprises.

14 April 2023 Ed Dixon

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  • Inter offer contingent on Aser selling Leeds stake at end of 2022/23 season
  • Bahrain’s Investcorp also linked with offer for Serie A club
  • Suning Holdings Group has owned Inter since 2016

Andrea Radrizzani’s Aser Ventures, the owner of English top-flight soccer outfit Leeds United, is considering a bid for Italian giants Inter Milan, according to Bloomberg.

A deal for the Serie A club is reportedly dependent on Radrizzani selling Aser’s stake in Leeds to 49ers Enterprises, the investment arm of the National Football League’s (NFL) San Francisco 49ers, at the end of the Premier League season.

49ers Enterprises took an initial 15 per cent stake in Leeds back in 2018, before eventually increasing that to 44 per cent in November 2021. Aser Ventures holds the remaining 56 per cent of the Yorkshire club, having taken control in 2017.

The Times reported last year that Leeds could be set for a full takeover by 49ers Enterprises, whose option to assume 100 per cent control from Aser expires in January 2024.

According to Bloomberg, the 49ers Enterprises takeover is conditional on Leeds retaining their Premier League status. The team is currently two points clear of the relegation zone with eight games left to play.

Bahrain-based Investcorp, which bid for Inter’s city rivals AC Milan last year, is also reportedly mulling an offer for the Serie A side and is looking to put together a group of Bahraini investors to purchase the club.

Inter have been majority owned by Chinese conglomerate Suning Holdings Group since June 2016 but have been linked with a sale since 2021. Suning had been eyeing investment in the Nerazzurri in 2019, before stating the following year it planned to double down on its retail business, suggesting the company was looking to scale back its involvement with Inter.

Inter’s balance sheet has made for worrying reading in recent years. The club made a loss of €140 million (US$155 million) for the 2021/22 financial year, adding to losses of €245.6 million (US$271.6 million) and €102.4 million (US$113.2 million) for 2020/21 and 2019/20, respectively. In May 2021, Inter confirmed a loan, reportedly worth €275 million (US$304 million), with Oaktree Capital Management to help shore up the club’s finances.

Inter, which currently sit fifth in the Serie A table, were linked with a US$1 billion takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) at the start of 2022. After that failed to materialise, Suning reportedly asked bankers to seek a new owner for the club the following October.

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