MILAN Indonesian business tycoon Erick Thohir has been appointed as chairman of Inter Milan, the Serie A club said on Friday as former owner Massimo Moratti's 18-year reign came to an end.
In a statement Inter said its shareholders had named a new slimmer eight-member board of directors headed by Thohir, adding that Moratti had been appointed honorary chairman.
The International Sports Capital consortium owned by Thohir and his two Indonesian partners Rosan Roeslani and Handy Soetedjo paid 75 million euros ($101 million) and took on all of Inter Milan's debt of about 180 million euros in exchange for a 70 percent stake in the soccer club, Moratti told Reuters.
"I will be paying 25 million euros into the club at a later date as part of the deal," Moratti said.
The Indonesians carried out a 10 million euro capital increase to take over the club and paid another 65 million euros as a premium on the shares bought to reach a 70 percent stake, a source close to the club said.
The deal values the club at around 350 million euros, the source added.
Moratti, whose family controls Italian oil refiner Saras, has been in charge of Inter since 1995.
Thohir, who is part owner of Major League soccer club DC United and basketball team the Philadelphia 76ers, said he aimed to use his experience and reach to increase the Inter fan base in Asia and the United States.
"To compete with other clubs and tackle all the new regulations coming in it is important for us to make sure the club will be stronger. We need to be healthy economically and financially to compete internationally," Thohir said.
Inter have fallen on hard times since their 2010 trophy treble, which included a Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich.
They finished just ninth in Serie A last season to miss out on a lucrative Champions League place. ($1 = 0.7430 euros)
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Justin Palmer)