AC Milan deal to be closed by early December - sources
MILAN (Reuters) - The deal to sell top-flight Italian soccer team AC Milan to a consortium of Chinese investors will be completed at the beginning of December or even earlier, two sources told Reuters on Friday.
In August former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a preliminary agreement valuing the club at 740 million euros ($822 million), including 220 million euros of debt.
The deadline for completing the deal had been originally set for the end of this year.
One of the sources said the deadline was now Dec. 3 but added the deal could be wrapped up as early as Nov. 23. The second source said completion would be the end of this month or the start of December.
Berlusconi's holding company Fininvest has already cashed in 100 million euros.
A selection process of the Chinese investors interested in buying into Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing, the vehicle that will buy AC Milan, is under way, one of the sources said.
Besides Haixia Capital and Yonghong Li, chairman of the vehicle, there will be two or three other investors, the source said.
"What they're trying to avoid is an overly numerous and fragmented shareholding structure," the source said.
The names of the other investors will be released at the time of the closing, the sources said.
Berlusconi will be offered the position of honorary chairman though the former premier has still not decided if he will take up the offer, the sources said.
($1 = 0.9004 euros)
(Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi and Elvira Pollina; writing by Stephen Jewkes)