Chinese buyers set to finalise AC Milan deal March 3 - sources

The AC Milan logo is pictured on a pennant in a soccer store in downtown Milan, Italy April 29, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - The sale of prized Italian soccer team AC Milan to a group of Chinese investors is set to be finalised on March 3, two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday, in what would be the biggest Chinese investment in a European club.

The deal, valuing the club at 740 million euros ($818 million) including 220 million euros of debt, was originally supposed to close at the end of last year but the Chinese buyers struggled to get final approval from Beijing.

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi agreed in August to sell one of his most cherished assets to an investment vehicle called Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing (SES), backed by Haixa Capital and entrepreneur Yonghong Li.

The investors are due to pay Berlusconi the outstanding 320 million euros and are also expected to inject a further 100 million euros into the team, as initially agreed in August, the two sources said.

The group has already paid 200 million euros in three separate payments to Berlusconi’s family company Fininvest.

Fininvest denied to comment on the date of March 3.

The full composition of the Chinese consortium is still unknown and is due to be revealed at the closing, the two sources added.

Reporting by Giulia Segreti and Elvira Pollina