The investment company, which owns a stake in the parent company of the football club “Liverpool”, is trying to thwart the acquisition of “Milan”, one of the giants of Italian football, more than 1 billion euros.
Sky News has learned that RedBird Capital Partners has approached the owner of the Serie A team – the American hedge fund Elliott Management – about the deal.
Sources said RedBird was trying to single out AC Milan from the clutches of Investcorp, an investor from Bahrain that had secured an expiration date that had expired to seal the takeover.
It remained possible that Investcorp would still close the deal ahead of RedBird or other grooms, they added.
RedBird has become one of the world’s most prolific investors in elite sports and related technology companies such as India’s Dream Sports, which organizes fantasy cricket competitions for millions of Indians, and Toulouse, France’s first-class team.
Last year, RedBird bought a stake of just over 10% in Fenway Sports Group (FSG), the owner of Liverpool over the past decade, for $ 750 million.
FSG also owns the Boston Red Sox baseball team and the New England Sports Network.
On Thursday, it was unclear how close RedBird was to securing any form of agreement with Elliott to buy AC Milan.
One insider said it was possible that an agreement could be reached within days.
The takeover of Milan would be the latest deal involving one of Europe’s leading football clubs.
Chelsea’s advisers, last season’s Champions League winners, are trying to achieve a total of about £ 4 billion after the owner Roman AbramovichUK government sanctions.
Elliott himself briefly participated in the Chelsea auction when he supported a bid raised by blues-backed real estate entrepreneur Nick Candy.
The source said that some bidders who failed to secure exclusivity at Chelsea could have turned their attention to other top clubs, including AC Milan.
Other leading countries on the continent, such as Barcelona and Juventus, were forced to raise capital during the pandemic amid a sharp decline in income, while the elite leagues of France and Spain entered into deals with private investment company CVC Capital Partners to sell stakes in their commercial rights.
Series A also considered transferring the stake to CVC or other investors, but those talks stalled last year.
“Milan”, which shares the city stadium “San Siro” with the rival “International”, since 2018 belongs to Eliot.
The hedge fund, which owns companies such as bookseller Waterstones, took control of the club after its previous Chinese owner failed to pay off debts.
AC Milan are now on the verge of their first league title – or scudetto – since the 2010-11 season and only their second in 20 years.
The last time the club won the Champions League was 15 years ago.
Under Eliot’s leadership, Milan’s finances have stabilized, while his results on the field have recovered to such an extent that it is possible to revive his success during the reign of Silvio Berlusconi.
The exact price that the new owner would pay to gain control of the Rossoneri – so called because of the characteristic red and black shirts – is unclear, although sources have indicated that it will be north of 1 billion euros.
RedBird was founded by Jerry Cardinale, a former Goldman Sachs partner, and manages $ 6 billion in investments in a variety of sectors, including consumer goods, financial services and telecommunications, media and technology.
He also founded a special-purpose acquisition company RedBall, listed on the U.S. Stock Exchange, which struck a $ 1.3 billion deal to make SeatGeek’s public ticketing platform public.
RedBird, Elliott and Investcorp declined to comment on Thursday.