Oaktree seize control of Inter: What it means and the difference with Milan in 2018

By Oliver Fisher -

It was made official this morning that the ownership of Inter has formally transferred from Suning to the American fund Oaktree.

As the Financial Times confirm, Oaktree Capital have ‘moved to seize control’ of Inter after their Chinese owners failed to repay an almost €400m loan. The Los Angeles-based fund said on Wednesday that it has ‘assumed ownership’ of the Nerazzurri.

They were able to do so following Chinese retailer Suning’s failure to repay a three-year loan that expired on May 21. With the deadline having passed, that means that a pledge could be enforced whereby the shares transfer.

The initial focus of Oaktree will be to ensure the ‘operational and financial stability’ for the club, said Alejandro Cano, managing director and co-head of Europe for Oaktree’s Global Opportunities strategy.

“We are committed to the long-term success of the Nerazzurri and believe our ambitions for the club are united with those of its passionate fans in Italy and around the world.”

As MilanNews writes, it will not be the first time for a club in Milano change ownership over an unpaid loan. The same has happened to Inter six years after Milan passed from the hands of Yonghong Li to Elliott Management.

In 2018 the execution, as far as the Rossoneri were concerned, was very rapid. In three days Paul Singer and his collaborators closed the case and took over Milan, held for four seasons, before the sale to RedBird Capital – owned by Gerry Cardinale – which came in 2022.

However, there is ‘one significant difference’ between Milan and Inter’s situations: that contract did not provide for the fair value to be given to whoever loses ownership, i.e. the difference between the market value of the club and the unrepaid loan, debts deducted (including the €400m bond).

This very detail could bring the parties into question, which Steven Zhang made clear in his statement. In other words, a very messy legal battle could be about to ensue which would obviously impact the stability of the club. Those debts that need repaying remain, too.

As MilanoFinanza reported, what Oaktree will find now they have enforced the pledge is an accumulated deficit over the last four seasons, including 2019-20, of €570m.

Regarding the assets, as of June, the net capital was negative by €162m, with total debts amounting to €800m. In other words, if you are a Milan fan, sit back and grab some popcorn.

Tags AC Milan


  1. Been waiting for this moment for months 🍿. I wonder how the professional whiners are going to spin this into a positive for Inter 🤔

    1. No matter how optimistic Inter is, I just don’t think OakTree is in it for the long haul. I think they want to recoup their money first and foremost.

      Unless they already have a buyer lined up, ready to pay up and absorb inter’s massive debt, OakTree will need time to offload Inter. We’ll see if that means they hold onto their prized players or it becomes a chopping block.

      One thing going for inter though is the fact that they have Marotta running things now, and he’s very intelligent. But Marotta is a calcio guy – he can’t make funds appear. Not sure how he renews Lautaro and Co.

      This will be fascinating to watch.

  2. 😂😂😂😂😂

    Fantastic news. Iv’e been waiting for this all season ♥️🖤♥️🖤♥️

    I dont know if it is a possibility… But maybe, just maybe inter will lose their scudetto this time. I will enjoy this summer 😎 Let the meltdown begin

  3. It was only a matter of time. I don´t want Inter to fail, but they should be judged on the same level as other clubs. Milan have had to work in this new financial reality for years and now it´s Inters turn to get its feet back on the ground. I´ve ordered a truckload of popcorn and we´ll see what´s left after the dust settles.

  4. What’s even funnier is that another serie A club will be American owned.
    We already reading articles how serie A is increasingly American. Atalanta, Fiorentina, Genoa, Inter, Milan, Roma, plus Parma and potentially Venezia are coming up from serie B. Bologna is Canadian owned.
    That’s half of the league owned by North American owners.
    Italian media and all the dinosaurs talking how these foreign owners have to adapt to the Italian way will lose their mind. The Italian owners will have to adapt to the way the foreign owners operate in their own league.
    Sacchi will tear his hair out

  5. A strong Inter is required for a strong AC Milan. In any case, we could grab some players at cut price. It’s not the first time. Let’s find the new Pirlo and Seedorf

  6. We need to take advantage of this period. While they work towards financial stability we need to accelerate to put a few more trophies on the shelf. A message to Milan management: sometimes the old adage is true “you get what you pay for.”

  7. Before everybody starts celebrating, Inter’s finances have improved over the last 2-3 years and they are predicted to break even in 2025 or 2026. Oaktree won’t gut Inter, and will probably follow the path they are already on.

    We may see 1-2 of their star players leave, but they’ve had that happen to them in the recent past and still continued to do well.

    So, all in all – it’s unlikely that inter will change too much in the near future…

    1. “Before everybody starts celebrating, Inter’s finances have improved over the last 2-3 years and they are predicted to break even in 2025 or 2026.”

      And paying Lautaro 12M€ + taxes per year with increased wages for Calhanoglu, Barella etc. will make them make profit? LOL. I believe it when I see it. Probably won’t though. 😀 😀 😀

    2. I expect the biggest impact would be around uncertainties on strategies for this market. Even that might not be the case if the fund has prepped for the takeover and wants to retain the ownership. Inter situation is completely different than ours a few years back and the main difference is they already have an established team that might need some cost cutting here and there. Still an opportunity for us to catch up with them

  8. Inter is not on a path of financial stability and has overvalued their own players. I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose that Scudetto, and more than just several of their top players.

  9. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I’m not that well versed in finances so I can’t make arguments, but I’ve heard all over the last seasons that inter is gonna collapse only for them to finally win the scudetto this season in a dominating fashion. Now if they do collapse and end up losing players, I would be happy no doubts.
    My take is that we shouldn’t take for granted that we’re gonna face a weaker inter in 2024/25 and should focus on trying to improve our team as much as possible regardless of what the other teams are doing.

  10. I dont think whatever is happening will significantly harm inter as a club, it just means suning will leave with nothing even after legal battles, actually at the end of it all, inter will be debt free, following a sustainable model, now we will have a debt free inter that might still be winning titles if we dont improve, we used to hide behind finances, where will we hide now, actually inter fans are happy with suning going, yet in his mess the club won several titles and has been whiping milan’s ass so hard, which might continue if we hire a weaker manager than inzaghi, despite all what is happening, inter remains the team to beat, so dont fool yourselves and think inter is done, rather hope than milan will truely build and improve, milan went through this same process and actually came out stronger, the only regret with inter fans is that suning should have sold to a better buyer rather than wait until deadline, for ac milan our real story of the summer is strengthening our team by appointing the right manager first, not whats gonna befall inter who will be donning 2 stars next season, as an ac milan fan i wished that suning remained the owner of inter, only that way was inter gonna sink

    1. This.
      This is it. 💯
      You are him.
      I see many people celebrating inter’s apparent demise like it’s gonna automatically increase our fortunes. Don’t get me wrong inter in the dumps I would love to see, but until they actually take a severe hit this is just premature celebrations and what have yous.

      And I especially love that “we have been hiding under financial stability”. It’s either Milan dominates or we don’t.

      Inter having what looks like a setback is not gonna change anything if marotta continues his genius sporting moves. It would only then be that they have the capability to be financially stable while still dominating.

      All said, the ball is in the management of Milan’s court. This would be the best time to take advantage of this slight uproar at inter and sign the necessaries needed to elevate the club.

      1. True, its an opportunity for us, only if we can capitalise on it, very true we all want inter to go bankrupt, but if oaktree will do like what elliot did salvation has come to inter’s finances, and if they keep their directors they might turn into a very dominant force, we all hope that they will crush though, there is nothing to grab popcorns for, i would have grabbed popcorns if suning had taken another loan or extended the debt repayment deadline, inter having a new owner with financial means is bad news for us, and we should not forget that our own deadline is slowly but surely approaching 😅

  11. still doesn’t change anything in us, inter maybe will be gangbanged by the wealthy clubs while we can only just watching in envy cz popcorn is too expensive for jery

  12. No matter. Nothing is going to happen that wouldnt happen this summer under Suning anyway.

    They will sell 2-3 of their high earners in Lautaro, Barella and Bastoni. They will replace them with cheaper alternatives like David, Guirassy, Scalvini etc. They will shed some dead weight on high wages, who are running out of contract (Sensi, Sanchez, Cuadrado). They will get their squad cost more less in order, and repay some of their debts.
    In a year or so Oaktree will cover the rest of their debts and sell to next owner with a healthy profit.

    They will lose half a step, but they will be fine. People expecting a downfall are overly optimistic. Realistically we still need to make big leaps forward to catch up to them.

  13. Someone in this community said Inter’s financials were getting better, guess who? A little sad twat who doesn’t support Milan…

  14. This is probably not going to hurt Inter too much. If anything it probably gives them an opportunity to quarantine recent losses as Sunings problem and not the clubs. I.e. Suning will loose many millions of $ when the club is eventually sold and they get a small share after the loan and bills are paid out.

    Aparently Oak Tree have already been on the board and involved in the club since they issued the loan 3 years ago.
    They will sell some players & tighten the wages bill to make the club more sustainable. Whilst looking for a new owner.
    As long as Morotta stays as Director of transfers; they will continue to be a force.

    1. Let’s just hope Lautaro is the first to leave. Followed by Crybaby-Barella. That would mean no need to add salt to the popcorn. 😀

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