Suning had been close to selling Inter Milan earlier this season, but pulled the plug during the run to the Champions League final.
This according to today’s print edition of Rome-based newspaper La Repubblica, via FCInterNews, who report that the Nerazzurri owners had been in advanced talks with a US-based fund in December, but that they increased their asking price due to the team’s European exploits.
Rumours have persistently suggested that Suning could sell Inter.
The New York Times recently reported that some US-based investors have been given a tour of the facilities and looked at the club’s accounts.
US-based boutique bank Raine Group reportedly has a mandate to seek new ownership for the club.
Raine Group had been the bank who facilitated the takeover of Premier League giants Chelsea by a consortium led by Todd Boehly.
The debt situation of Suning and Inter is a key part of the reason why a sale is rumoured.
In May of 2021, Suning took on a loan from US-based fund Oaktree Capital, worth €275 million. With interest, it will cost the Nerazzurri owners €350 million to repay that loan when it comes due next May.
Former Nerazzurri CEO Ernesto Paolillo believes that Suning will either have to make a sale or give up control to Oaktree.
Suning Reportedly Were Close To Selling Inter Milan In December
According to La Repubblica, Suning had been in advanced talks to sell the club to a US-based investor in December.
The newspaper report that the owners placed a €700 million valuation on the club at that time.
However, in the meantime, Inter have reached the final of the Champions League. That European adventure has benefited the team in a number of ways.
The Nerazzurri have earned far more revenues from Europe’s top club competition than they’d ever expected to. This is both from prize money, and from gate receipts from the San Siro for three huge knockout matches.
Meanwhile, the exposure of the club’s brand has naturally grown significantly.
The upshot of all this is that Suning decided to increase their asking price significantly, according to La Repubblica. The newspaper report that Suning now want at the very least €1 billion to sell.
Accordingly, the US-based potential buyer backed out of the deal.
Thomas Zilliacus & InvestCorp Among Names Publicly Linked
There are still plenty of names reportedly interested in buying Inter from Suning.
The Nerazzurri owners still have to deal with the debt situation. President Steven Zhang has confirmed that they intend to try and refinance the Oaktree loan.
Should Suning be unable to stabilize the financial situation, however, there is no shortage of interest in swooping in to buy the Nerazzurri.
In the last week or so, the name of Thomas Zilliacus has emerged as a possible candidate to buy Inter from current owners Suning.