US-based fund Oaktree Capital are interested in making a major investment in Serie A broadcaster DAZN.
Bloomberg, via FCInterNews, report that the fund could further entangle themselves in Italian football, having already made a massive loan to Inter Milan owners Suning.
The name of Oaktree Capital will be a familiar one to Inter fans.
The US-based fund made a sizable loan of around €275 million to Nerazzurri owners Suning in May of 2021.
This came about during the height of the pandemic-related financial problems at both Suning and Inter.
The pandemic caused revenues for Inter and all football clubs to plummet, due to a lack of matchday gate receipts.
And for the parent company of Suning, a retail giant, it was a similar story.
Therefore, in 2021, Inter found themselves facing a serious debt and liqudity crisis. This meant that the club were unable to cover operating costs.
Not Just Inter – Oaktree Also Interested In Major Investment In DAZN
That €275 million loan from Oaktree was vital for Suning to continue running Inter by covering operating costs.
But it has also been a major factor in the ongoing financial restrictions that the club has operated within.
Inter have had to sell players like Achraf Hakimi, Romelu Lukaku, and Andre Onana for big money. And they have mostly had to rely on low-cost signings in the other direction.
Meanwhile, the loan from Oaktree comes due next May.
Suning had put Inter up as collateral. Therefore, if they fail to pay the loan back including interest by the time of the due date, the current owners would risk seeing control of the club pass into the hands of Oaktree.
This is a key factor driving speculation and uncertainty about Suning’s future at Inter.
The Nerazzurri owners would have a couple options. There is no realistic chance of them paying their full debt to Oaktree in time.
One would be for Suning to sell Inter, in order to cash in while they can.
And the other would be for the Nerazzurri owners to refinance their debt. That appears to be Suning’s preferred option.
And now, Oaktree are further showing an interest in sport.
The US-based fund want to raise over $1 billion USD to invest in streaming service DAZN. Among other things, DAZN holds the broadcasting rights to Serie A in Italy.
Bloomberg report that the negotiations are still in their infancy.
But over the coming months, Oaktree are serious about raising the necessary capital to make the investment.