Elliott Advisors (UK) Limited have officially taken control of AC Milan after Li Yonghong’s Rossoneri Lux company defaulted on its debt repayment obligations.
The asset management group confirmed the ownership change in a statement on Tuesday, which explained how they have also injected €50 million of equity capital into the Italian club to “stabilise the club’s finances.”
“Ownership and control of the holding company that owns AC Milan has today been transferred to funds advised by Elliott Advisors [UK] Limited [‘Elliott’],” read the statement issued by Elliott. “This transfer has occurred as a result of steps taken to enforce Elliott’s security interests after the previous owner of AC Milan defaulted on its debt obligations to Elliott.
“Having assumed control, Elliott’s vision for AC Milan is straightforward: to create financial stability and establish sound management; to achieve long-term success for AC Milan by focusing on the fundamentals and ensuring that the club is well-capitalised; and to run a sustainable operating model that respects UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations.
“Elliott fully appreciates the challenge and responsibility that ownership of this great institution entails. Elliott is pleased not only to support the club during this difficult time, but also by the challenge of achieving ambitious objectives in the future via the on-field success of coach Gattuso and his players.”
Milan have registered an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in hopes of overturning their UEFA suspension from next season’s Europa League for running afoul of UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) regulations.
The Serie A club were acquired by Chinese investor Li Yonghong in April 2017 from Silvio Berlusconi’s Fininvest company for a total of €740m.
That fee included a loan of at least €303m from Elliott, part of which was due to be paid back last week with the remainder due in October.
Having defaulted on that loan, ownership has now officially passed to Elliott, whose founder, Paul Singer, has vowed to provide the club with the financial stability UEFA had doubted when excluding them from Europe.
“Financial support, stability, and proper oversight are necessary prerequisites for on-field success and a world-class fan experience,” Singer said.
“Elliott looks forward to the challenge of realising the club’s potential and returning the club to the pantheon of top European football clubs where it rightly belongs. Elliott also strongly believes in the value-creation opportunity at AC Milan.”
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.