A month ago, it looked increasingly likely that AC Milan would be purchased by Investcorp, a Bahrain-based private equity company. Then, of course, RedBird Capital Partners, an American-based private equity company, joined the race. Things muddied from there.
An Investcorp AC Milan Takeover Takes Another Turn
The Current News
Investcorp Co-CEO Rishi Kapoor spoke to Gulf News regarding the potential Milan deal.
🚨 Milan president Paolo Scaroni: “I don’t know about critical issues with Investcorp. I understand that there are two offers [for the purchase of Milan] and it takes some time to complete the perimeter of the offer, understand them well and to compare them.”
— Milan Eye (@MilanEye) May 10, 2022
“At this stage, it’s not possible to comment,” Kapoor said when asked if the Milan deal was done. “It’s a fact that Investcorp hasn’t had any direct exposure to sporting franchises anywhere.”
That last quote is one to focus on. The other contender for purchasing Milan, RedBird Capital, holds plenty of experience and exposure in the sporting world. For starters, they are an investor in Fenway Sports Group. This group, of course, owns Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox. In addition, RedBird Capital owns a controlling stake in French football club Toulouse.
Elliott Management Corporation currently owns Milan, and selling to a company more experienced in sports is more appealing.
Investcorp Looking At Expanding Into Sports Market
Investcorp does have a large investment in the United Talent Agency in the United States, which represents many major sports personalities. This is where Investcorp’s new interest in sports emerges from.
“Through United Talent Agency, we do have a pretty strong appreciation and understanding of how the business operates in the US, and sports is a key component of the entertainment market today,” Kapoor said. “Let’s leave aside any AC Milan deal for now…”
A deal that looked almost certain a month ago has taken a major twist.
RedBird Capital is also offering a deal with total equity, whereas Investcorp is involving loans. It’s important to remember that Elliott Management took over Milan from previous owner Yonghong Li as he defaulted on loans. Perhaps the loan route is not something Elliott Management wants to look into again.