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AC Milan sale talks not affected by Berlusconi in hospital - source

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi leaves the stage flanked by his girlfriend Francesca Pascale at the end of a rally to protest his tax fraud conviction, outside his palace in central Rome, Italy August 4, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File picture
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi leaves the stage flanked by his girlfriend Francesca Pascale at the end of a rally to protest his tax fraud conviction, outside his palace in central Rome, Italy August 4, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File picture

MILAN (Reuters) - Talks over the sale of a majority stake in Italian soccer club AC Milan to a group of Chinese investors have not been affected by the hospitalisation of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, a source told Reuters.

The Berlusconi family holding company Fininvest, which owns the whole of AC Milan, started exclusive non-binding talks with the Chinese consortium in May, in an effort to seek an outside investor able to inject new capital.

The 79-year-old centre-right leader and media mogul was admitted to hospital on Monday suffering from what his doctors called a cardiac deficiency.

"There are no repercussions on the negotiations since the talks are being carried out by holding company Fininvest and not by Berlusconi himself," the source said.

The exclusive talks period with the Chinese consortium will end on June 20 but a deal to sell the serie A club is still far from certain as Berlusconi remains reluctant to loosen his grip on one of his most cherished assets.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina, editing by Paola Arosio)

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