SM Exclusive: Bellinazzo on RedBird’s takeover, Elliott’s motive and what it means for Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan have changed owners for the third time since Silvio Berlusconi decided to sell in 2017, but this time the club will remain in American hands as RedBird Capital have taken charge.

For weeks it seemed as though the Bahrain-based fund Investcorp would win the race to buy the Rossoneri for a deal exceeding €1.2bn, however in the end there were reportedly concerns over the structure of the deal that forced Elliott to evaluation and eventually choose a rival bit from their compatriots RedBird.

What does the takeover mean? Why are RedBird so interested in Milan and what are their plans for the future? We spoke to Il Sole 24 Ore journalist and financial expert Marco Bellinazzo about all things to do with the takeover…

Verità & Finanza spoke of a loan of €600m (with 15% interest) from Elliott to RedBird for the purchase of Milan. Is this surprising or is this a usual operation?

“For the RedBird operation with Elliott, Gerry Cardinale’s fund – given the closing scheduled for September – will look for new investors to be channelled into the Milan operation so that the investment made by Elliott is around €200-300m,” Bellinazzo told us.

“For now it is expected that a maximum of €600m is expected but it is a clause that has been inserted pending the definition of the contract and also the share with which Elliott will remain as a minority shareholder in the club.”

Could a debt of this magnitude represent a ‘Sword of Damocles’ (impending disaster) regarding the economic value of RedBird’s future market operations?

“Elliott have decided to stay in the club because this will allow them to further enhance their minority stake, for example by including in the club’s assets what will be the new stadium that RedBird and Elliott intend to build in Milan.

“RedBird will guarantee – alongside the financing of Elliott and with its own capital – a qualitative leap for Milan having within it a ‘know how’ necessary to develop all the levers that are today fundamental for a football club: all the revenue levers, those of the media company passing for the most accurate and profitable hospitality in the new stadium.”

Is it plausible, even if only remotely, to imagine a scenario similar to the one concerning Yonghong Li, who was unable to pay off the loan from Elliott meaning the Singer family took charge?

“Ultimately, the RedBird-Elliott operation looks very positive for what the future of the Rossoneri club which today has a turnover of €300m but which must reach €450m in the next three years in order to become competitive in Europe and be in the Champions League as much as possible.

“With attention to the accounts, Elliott have already shown they knows how to achieve since in recent years they have effectively halved the club’s annual deficit and eliminated financial debt.”

Tags AC Milan


  1. It looks: Redbird is “better” option for Elliot, because they will get credit from them, with very high interest, and Elliot will keep 30%, and sell that again for few hundreds million. I suppose, Investcorp refuse that, and pull out from negotiation. How Redbird is going to pay all this, and find money for new stadium?

    1. Well loan will be repaid from the club finances and probably loans for the stadium. What I don’t understand is the 15% interest rate that Elliot gave. 15% is criminal, the only reason is to get more money out of the club. They could have given it at 5% interest and still make money from it but…

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.