Inter owners Suning have asked US-based investment bank Raine Group to look for buyers for the Nerazzurri as they increasingly open up to selling the club.
This according to today’s print edition of Italian business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, who report that the owners would be ready to sell Inter outright rather than just look for minority investors, and have made contact with the same bank that facilitated the sale of Chelsea earlier this year.
Suning have been working with US-based investment bank Goldman Sachs for some time, asking them to both probe for interest in buying the club as well as search for new minority investors.
The Nerazzurri owners need to find a cash influx given that the club are still operating very much in the red, with €120 million in losses set to be recorded in their accounts for the fiscal year just gone, whilst the €400 million debt bond remains in the background.
Suning have been looking for minority investment that would help alleviate liquidity problems whilst allowing them to remain in control of the club, although the sense has been that they would also listen to offers and have set the asking price at €1.2 billion.
Now, however, the Nerazzurri owners’ stance appears to be shifting in favour of an outright sale as they wish to avoid the possible eventuality of losing control to Oaktree Capital if they are unable to repay the significant loan from last summer and with no end in sight to mounting financial problems.
Accordingly, the contact with the Raine Group represents an important step in this direction, as the US-based bank is heavily involved in sports and media and particularly in European football, having recently facilitated the high-profile sale of Premier League giants Chelsea.
The interest in buying big European clubs appears to largely be from the US rather than from Asia or the Middle East, and the Raine Group have connections with interested US-based buyers which could be useful in finding a buyer for the Nerazzurri.
In the coming weeks, a law firm will likely be contacted for a consulting role in future negotiations according to Il Sole 24 Ore, and the sense is that Suning are serious about looking for buyers.