Italian journalist Marco Bellinazzo has given confirmation that Inter Milan owners Suning are working to refinance their loan from Oaktree Capital.
Speaking at the launch of his book “The New Wars of Football” as reported by FCInter1908, the football finance expert for business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore gave an explanation for why the current Nerazzurri owners are trying to refinance rather than sell the club.
One of the big underlying financial issues facing Suning’s ownership of Inter is their loan from Oaktree Capital.
The Nerazzurri owners took on the huge €275 million loan in 2021. They did this in order to secure operating liquidity to run the club amid a post-pandemic financial crisis.
That loan will come due, however, sooner rather than later. The due date at the end of next May looms.
Inter Owners Suning Face Looming Due Date Of Oaktree Loan
Suning will have to pay back €350 million including interest. And, given that the Inter owners put the club up as collateral to secure the loan, if they are unable to pay then control of the Nerazzurri would pass into the hands of Suning.
This leaves Suning with a few options. One road ahead would simply be to lose control of the club to Oaktree. Obviously this would not be very desirable.
Taking this option would mean Suning could at least recoup a substantial fee for the club.
Lastly, given that there is little chance of Suning paying back the full amount owed on time, they could look to refinance. This would give the Inter owners much more breathing room at the club.
And, Bellinazzo believes, this is the option that Suning are aiming to take.
Bellinazzo Expects Suning To Try & Refinance
“2024 will be a key year for us to see what choices Suning will make,” the Italian football finance expert said.
“The financing that they’ve undertaken with big sales and cutbacks has been fine for a few years,” he continued. “But Inter can’t continue down this path. Suning have to make some decisions.”
“They achieved something incredible by reaching the [Champions League] final. That gives the brand prestige and allows them to overcome the sponsroship issues.”
“However, there’s also the problem of very high interest rates,” he continued. “Otherwise the loan would have already been refinanced.”
“Suning are working hard with Oaktree and its advisors to refinance their debt,” Bellinazzo revealed.
The Italian journalist gave the view that “At this moment it wouldn’t make sense to sell the club. There are pending developments with the stadium which should come in the next two to three months.”