The Chinese consortium seeking to buy Italian soccer club AC Milan expects to conclude the deal by Dec. 13, it said in a statement on Thursday.
The group of investors, backed by Haixia Capital and entrepreneur Yonghong Li, in August signed a deal with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to gain full control of the Serie A club, through investment vehicle Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing (SES).
The full make-up of the group has not been disclosed and, according to one source, has yet to be finalised.
“SES confirms that the closing is expected to coincide with the AC Milan shareholder meeting that is expected to take place on Dec. 13,” it said.
The statement came after a report in Italian daily La Stampa suggested that SES may be facing difficulties in raising the money needed to fulfil its commitments under the deal.
The deal values the club at 740 million euros, including 220 million euros of debt.
The investors already paid 100 million euros, in two separate tranches, to Berlusconi’s Fininvest family holding company and are due to pour the extra 420 million in at the closing.
If the deal goes through in December, it will mark the second Chinese foothold in Italian football.
In June, Suning Commerce Group, one of China’s leading companies bought almost 70 percent stake in Italian soccer club Inter Milan.
AS Roma are owned by Boston businessman James Pallotta, and Bologna are now considered an emerging team, thanks to president Joey Saputo, Canadian businessman and founder of the Montreal Impact soccer team.