December 23 – The protracted sale of AC Milan to Chinese group Sino-Europe Sports (SES) took another subtle twist yesterday when SES President Yonghong Li assured media that the sale is going ahead and that if they can’t release the money from China they have an alternative plan.
“We’ve identified an alternative investment structure,” said Li to Football Italia.
“In China, every investment in foreign countries is subject to approval by Chinese regulators. Recently the authorities announced new regulations on investments abroad, and that applies to deals announced before they were made public, as is the case in the acquisition of Milan by SES…At this point SES isn’t allowed to hold any equity in Milan.”
However, Chinese investors Haixa Capital have put down two non-refundable deposits of €100 million towards the €520 million purchase price. The deadline for completion has now been put back until March 2017.
One outstanding issue is still who the identities of the Chinese shareholders will be. “Unfortunately we can’t give any more information on that issue until the closing, and in fact an early disclosure would complicate an already delicate process for obtaining the necessary authorisations,” Li told Football Italia.
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