ROME - Agence France-Presse
Chinese fans of Inter Milan cheer before the start of the Italian Super Cup soccer match between Inter Milan and Lazio at the Olympic Stadium in Beijing in this August 8, 2009 file photograph. REUTERS photo
Italy's Inter Milan football club said Wednesday that they have reached an agreement with Chinese investors who are set to become the company's second largest shareholder and invest in a new stadium.
"Internazionale Holding S.r.l. announces that today it has reached an agreement which envisages the acquisition of a stake in F.C. Internazionale S.p.A. by a group of Chinese investors," the club said in a statement.
Inter owner and oil tycoon Massimo Moratti told SKY Sport 24 that he was "extremely pleased about this deal." The club said the Moratti family "will retain control of the company while the group of Chinese investors will became the second largest shareholder." It did not specify the size of the stake the investors will take.
SKY Sport 24 reported that the investors will take at least a 20 percent stake of the company, for a minimum value of 200 million euros ($244 million).
Railway 15th Bureau Group, controlled by the China
Railway Construction Corporation, will put their engineering skills and investment into a new stadium in Milan, as well as helping spread the brand in Asia.
"I'd had the idea about a new stadium for some time, and now it can be realised," Moratti said.
The investors and Serie A club will together construct the new proprietary stadium, which is expected to be completed by 2017, the statement said.
"In the upcoming months the parties will jointly select the potentially suitable locations, define the project team and start the filing process to obtain the required authorizations," the statement on the club's website said.
It added that Inter Milan "is proud to give start to this new phase... aimed at expanding its presence in the Asian markets to raise new resources for the enhancement of its international future development and winning perspectives."