Inter’s potential new owners BC Partners are considering buying into an elite football club, a leading figure at the company confirmed today.
The British-based private equity firm have been linked with a takeover at Inter for more than a month, having completed due diligence on the club’s accounts in February.
Suning are thought to have rejected BC Partners’ offer to purchase Inter worth €750 million, deeming it to be too low.
Nikos Stathopoulos, partner and executive committee member at BC Partners, told Bloomberg: “I can’t comment on deals which have not actually happened, as you can imagine.
“But we have certainly been exploring investing in the sport industry, whether it be through a league or club ownership.
“Ultimately, club ownership in my mind has to be with a club that has very high probabilities of competing at the highest level of competitions.”
Stathopoulos was also asked to comment on rumours BC Partners were interested in getting involved in the Bundesliga as minority shareholders, explaining why sport could become a valuable opportunity for private equity funds.
“The way we’re approaching sport investment is more from a content perspective,” he added.
“I find sport to be an extremely valuable source of content.
“It’s real time and unique in most cases and that content has value.
“Our industry has realised that, like with the music and film industry, sport has a very attractive content that can be monetised, whether it’s through a club or through a league.
“That monetisation of the content is a trend I think we’ll see more.
“Sport is not a very institutionalised industry and I think the private equity industry could be a catalyst for institutionalising what is a very attractive industry.”
BC Partners are not the only group linked with investing at Inter, after Corriere dello Sport today revealed the Nerazzurri also had ‘strong interest’ from an unnamed Qatari fund.
Suning need to solve Inter’s financial problems one way or another by the end of March, with a series of important payment deadlines approaching.
The Chinese retail giants, which sold off a 23% stake in Suning.com to state subsidiaries over the weekend, are also thought to be considering a loan to cover Inter’s costs until the summer.