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China's Suning pays more than $300 million for control of Inter Milan

Monday, June 06, 2016 - 00:41

Chinese retail giant Suning agrees to buy nearly 70 percent of Inter Milan, the highest-profile takeover of a European team so far by a Chinese company.

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SHOWS: NANJING CITY, JIANGSU PROVINCE, CHINA (JUNE 6, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ERICK THOHIR, PRESIDENT OF INTER MILAN, SAYING: "So this is actually the process we want to speed up. We have a five-year business plan. We want to be consistently in Europe League even Champions League. This is important. Then in the reality, hundred nineteen million of our fans in Asia. More than one hundred million in China. To find a win-win solution to develop the market in China. That's the fact." 2. VARIOUS OF FORMER INTER MILAN CAPTAIN JAVIER ZANETTI EXCHANGING JERSEYS WITH SUNING OFFICIAL STORY: Chinese retail giant Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd has agreed to buy nearly 70 percent of famed Italian soccer club Inter Milan for 270 million euros ($307 million), the highest-profile takeover of a European team so far by a Chinese firm. Suning confirmed the deal on Monday (June 6) at a joint news conference with Inter Milan executives, including current majority owner and president Erick Thohir, in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing. The current president Erick Thohir said he would cut his stake back to 31 percent as he needs support to help Inter back to the top of Europe. "We have a five-year plan. We want to be consistently in Europe League even Champions League. This is important. Then in the reality, hundred ninteen million of our fans in Asia. More than one hundred million in China. To find a win-win solution to develop the market in China. That's the fact," he said. Chairman of Suning Holding Group, Zhang JIndong also showed his ambitions to bring Inter back to the top of Europe. Last year they finished out of the Champions League places in fourth. With President Xi Jinping an avid supporter of soccer, Suning's deal to take control of Inter Milan, which last won the European Champions League in 2010, is the latest step in a plan to create a global sports empire stretching from soccer clubs to online broadcasting. Chinese investors already have minority stakes in the parent of England's Manchester City and Spain's Atletico Madrid, while smaller Spanish club Espanyol and England's Aston Villa are Chinese-owned. Inter's city rival AC Milan is also in talks to sell a majority stake to a group of Chinese investors.

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China's Suning pays more than $300 million for control of Inter Milan

Monday, June 06, 2016 - 00:41