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Football: US investors set to acquire AS Roma

ultimo aggiornamento: 04 febbraio, ore 16:55
A group of investors from the United States led by Thomas DiBenedetto, part owner of the Boston Red Sox, will hold exclusive talks to buy three-time Italian soccer champion AS Roma.


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Rome, 4 Feb. (AKI/Bloomberg) - A group of investors from the United States led by Thomas DiBenedetto, part owner of the Boston Red Sox, will hold exclusive talks to buy three-time Italian soccer champion AS Roma with the club’s owners, UniCredit and the Sensi family.

Julian Movsesian, a member of the bidding group, said in a telephone interview that the US investors hope to conclude the deal in about two weeks. He said UniCredit was likely to keep a minority stake in the club, which was founded in 1927 and last won the Serie A title in 2001.

“We could be the proud owners in two weeks” after legalities are finalized, Movsesian, president of Succession Capital Alliance, said yesterday from Newport Beach, California. “We are going to work on the details. I’m pretty excited.”

AS Roma shares rose 2.4 percent today to 1.24 euros in Milan trading, up from 1.21 euros yesterday, giving the company a market value of about 164 million euros.

DiBenedetto AS Roma, the company led by DiBenedetto, a partner in the holding company that owns the Red Sox and English soccer club Liverpool, had “the most competitive offer” of the five purchase bids AS Roma received, according to Compagnia Italpetroli, the Sensi family’s holding.

The US investors will “provide further information,” a process that will take “a few days” and lead to an “exclusive period” for talks, Italpetroli said in a statement distributed by the Italian exchange yesterday.

All the proceeds of the sale will be used to pay back 277 million euros of debt owed to UniCredit. Italy’s biggest bank became co-owner of the team after a debt-for-equity swap last year with the Sensi family. UniCredit owns 49 percent and Italpetroli 51 percent of Newco Roma, the holding company that holds 67 percent of AS Roma.


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