Thursday March 23 2017
Investors abandoning Milan takeover?

An investigation into the takeover of Milan alleges multiple investors have abandoned Sino-Europe Sports.

The Chinese group is in the process of buying the Rossoneri from Silvio Berlusconi and his holding company, Fininvest.

However, there have been repeated delays to the takeover, with the consortium instead paying several deposits of €100m.

A third instalment in that amount is expected by the end of this week, but news agency Reuters has conducted an investigation into the prospective new owners.

China Construction Bank had pledged an investment of around €150m, but it’s thought they have now pulled-out, prompting the latest delay.

In terms of direct investors, only Li Yonghong - who is barely known in China - is still involved.

The Sino-Europe Sports consortium is made up of what Reuters describes as an “often obscure and complex network of investors and shell companies”.

The groups are mainly listed as being owned or represented by Chen Huashan, who couldn’t be reached for comment.

Of even more concern is a visit paid by Reuters to the Changxing World Trade Centre, where Sino-Europe Sports’ headquarters are located.

Echoing a previous Gazzetta dello Sport investigation, the outlet reports that “eight of the shell companies connected to the bid and registered there did not exist”.

Workers in the building had heard of Sino-Europe Sports, but almost never saw any employees at the supposed headquarters.