Italian American Gerry Cardinale's RedBird buys Italian Champions Milan AC

Jun 02, 2022 1086

U.S. investment firm RedBird Capital Partners has agreed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) deal to buy AC Milan and wants the seven-times European Cup champions to rival the continent's soccer elite again. Milan have just won the Italian Serie A league title for the first time in 11 years.

"For me, it's a little personal, it's a bit of homecoming" said the Philadelphia-born ItalianAmerican Cardinale. "I apologize because I don't speak Italian. Ma mom's family is called D'Annunzio. I asked her, why don't I speak Italian? She replied that in those days to integrate, Italians had to speak English. I will do my best to speak Italian and start lessons, but the first words learned are Forza Milan".

"Our job is to deliver for the fans. Fans want to win," Cardinale said at the club's Casa Milan headquarters. "Our job is to make that happen and also to look at the future and make sure that we're set up to have what happened this year... in the future as much as possible," added Cardinale, who was in the city for the celebrations when Milan claimed the title in late May.

Under the terms of the deal, current owners Elliott, the U.S. private equity group, will retain a minority investment and seats on the board. RedBird is already an investor in Fenway Sports Group, the owner of Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox baseball team. RedBird also has a controlling stake in French soccer club Toulouse, newly promoted to the top flight in France.

Italian soccer clubs have become a popular target for overseas investors, attracted by cheaper valuations compared with those of England's Premier League and rivals in major European leagues.

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