Inter’s new investors Oaktree Capital could become the club’s owners by 2024, according to a report in the Italian media.
The US-based private equity firm have officially agreed a €275 million financing deal with Suning, as confirmed by Inter this evening.
As per Gazzetta.it, Oaktree Capital will take over LionRock Capital’s 31.05% stake at Inter – making them the club’s new minority shareholder – and their arrival is the start of a new era.
Inter could in fact change hands in three years’ time, from Suning to Oaktree Capital, in a similar arrangement to the one that saw Elliott Management replace Yonghong Li at AC Milan.
Suning have pledged their 68.55% stake in Inter to Oaktree Capital as collateral in the deal, meaning they will lose control of the club if they do not respect the terms agreed.
In order to avoid losing Inter, Suning would need to repay the interest on the loan they have received and reimburse Oaktree Capital for the injection of capital they are set to provide at Inter.
Inter have a serious cash flow problem at the moment, while the majority of their earnings from their subsidiary company, Inter Media and Communication, will be used to repay the bonds which expire in 2022.
What’s more, Suning cannot invest their own money into Inter at the moment due to Chinese government restrictions, and those three factors together mean Oaktree Capital could well end up taking over the club.
The US-based fund will already have a degree of influence over Suning’s decisions at Inter before that scenario arises, though, because they would not have agreed to join without a certain amount of decision-making power.
Buying into Inter without any influence over the club’s actions would have made no sense for Oaktree Capital, the report added, because they would have had no way of protecting their investment.