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Sport

Parma taken over by U.S. based Krause group

MILAN (Reuters) - Parma became the latest Serie A team to come under U.S. ownership when they were taken over by the Krause Group on Friday, the club said in a statement following a deal signed in Milan.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Parma v Inter Milan - Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma, Italy - June 28, 2020 General view inside the stadium before the match, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

The group bought a 90% stake in Parma who won three major European trophies during their heyday in the 1990s, were declared bankrupt in 2015 and returned to Serie A in 2018.

Nuovo Inizio, a group set up by local entrepreneurs which took over the club following its bankruptcy and relegation to the fourth tier of Italian football in 2015, will retain a 9% stake.

The remaining 1% will remain with Parma Partecipazioni Calcistiche, the company that brings together fans as shareholders.

The announcement comes one month after U.S. billionaire Dan Friedkin agreed to take over AS Roma. Fiorentina and AC Milan are also under U.S. ownership and Bologna was taken over by investors led by Canadian lawyer Joey Saputo in 2014.

Meanwhile, Serie A is in talks with private equity funds for an investment in a newly created media rights business unit.

“The acquisition of Parma Calcio 1913 is the fulfilment of a long-held dream,” said Krause Group CEO Kyle Krause. “Parma Calcio 1913 are fighters and bouncing back from Serie D with three consecutive promotions in three years is a testament to their resilience.”

Based in Iowa, the group owns convenience stores, real estate and two Italian wineries plus Des Moines Menace, a club which plays in the fourth tier of the U.S. soccer pyramid.

Parma, founded in 1913, have never won Serie A but became well-known worldwide in the 1990s with a team which included players such as Argentine Hernan Crespo and Colombian Faustino Asprilla.

They won the old UEFA Cup twice, the European Cup Winners’ Cup once, the Coppa Italia three times and finished runners-up in Serie A.

Parma were declared bankrupt in 2015 after a chaotic season which saw them change hands twice, relegated to the fourth tier but returned to Serie A in 2018 after winning three successive promotions.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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