Paul Singer’s hedge fund in talks to sell AC Milan for 1 billion euros

That’s a message to New York Jets owners: Winning leads to more money. Try it.

Just look at US hedge fund Elliott Management, which is now on the verge of selling a top Italian football team it acquired cheaply four years ago for hundreds of millions in prize money.

The calm before the score

A global brand with a proud history of Italian and European leagues, AC Milan were in disarray when Elliott took over in 2018. The Rossoneri (red and black) landed in the middle of the domestic table for several years and fell out of the prestigious Champions League reserved for the best clubs in Europe.

When the cash-strapped Chinese owners of AC Milan defaulted on a €32m payment, Elliott – who had loaned them €300m – took control for an effective value of around 400 million euros. Elliott’s founder, famed investor Paul Singer, has been called a “vulture capitalist” by critics for seeking out struggling companies to turn a profit, but it’s hard to blame what happened next. The $38 billion hedge fund immediately pumped €50 million into AC Milan and decided the team needed to win games to unlock value for its new owners. It worked:

  • Elliott has given the go-ahead to buy talent, from youngster Theo Hernández (acquired from Spain’s Real Madrid for €20m) to wise veteran statesman Zlatan Ibrahimović, who has remained a good goalscorer at 40 years old. Last year AC Milan finished second in the Italian Serie A, and this year they face crosstown rivals Inter Milan for the title.
  • According to Calcio e Finanza estimates, AC Milan’s revenue is set to top €300m for the first time in the 2021-22 financial year, up from €260m in 2020-21. Investcorp – a Gulf-based private equity firm with €42 billion in assets under management – is in exclusive talks to buy the club for €1 billion or more, according to the FinancialTimes.

Speaking of homeowners in distress: After an offer from the Ricketts family of Chicago, owners of the Cubs baseball team, American billionaire and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has emerged as one of the leading candidates to take over English football giants Chelsea to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who put together the team. for sale under the pressure of international sanctions.

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