Oaktree, an American investment fund, assumes control of Serie A champion Inter after the previous owners defaulted on a loan repayment

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Inter players celebrates after their victory

Oaktree, an American investment fund, has officially taken control of Inter Milan, the reigning Serie A champions, marking the end of Suning and Steven Zhang’s eight-year tenure.

Oaktree assumed ownership after Suning failed to meet the repayment deadline for a debt of nearly 400 million euros ($434 million) on Tuesday.

This debt originated from a loan taken out three years ago, following Inter’s previous league title victory, but also coincided with significant losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As of May 22, 2024, funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, LP are the owners of Inter. This follows the failure to repay the three-year loan granted by Oaktree to Inter’s holding company, having expired May 22, 2024, with a balance of approximately 395 million euros,” Oaktree said in a statement provided to The Associated Press and other media outlets.

The ownership change comes shortly after Inter celebrated their 20th league title victory at San Siro just three days ago.

Inter joins six other Serie A clubs currently under American ownership: AC Milan, Atalanta, Fiorentina, Roma, Genoa, and newly promoted Parma. Additionally, Venezia, an American-owned Serie B side, is also in the running for promotion.

Steven Zhang Kangyang arrives to attend FIFA soccer award

Oaktree’s intentions regarding the future of Inter were uncertain, but managing director Alejandro Cano clarified that the focus is on long-term planning.

“As new owners, we understand our duty to Inter Milan’s community, history, and tradition,” Cano stated. “We are dedicated to ensuring the Nerazzurri’s sustained success and believe our aspirations align with those of its enthusiastic fans worldwide.”

“Our immediate priority is to ensure stability in operations and finances,” Cano added. “We have great confidence in Inter Milan’s management team and anticipate collaborating closely with them to provide effective leadership for the club.”

In 2018, Milan came under the ownership of American fund Elliott Management after the previous owner, Li Yonghong, failed to meet a loan repayment deadline.

Elliott was expected to sell the club, with several interested parties, but retained ownership for five years before selling to RedBird Capital Partners in 2022, following Milan’s Serie A victory.

In 2016, Chinese retail giant Suning acquired Inter, concluding a three-year tenure by a consortium led by Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir. Massimo Moratti had been at the helm since 1995 before selling a majority stake to Thohir.

Five years after Suning’s acquisition, Inter secured its first Serie A title in over a decade. This marked Inter’s first major trophy since 2011 and the first league championship since 2010.

Subsequently, Inter claimed two Italian Cup titles and three Italian Super Cups, in addition to clinching their 20th Serie A title this season, earning a coveted second star on their jersey. The Nerazzurri also reached the Champions League final last year.


By Robert Jackson

An avid football fan (A red). And an Otaku by the definition of the word.

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