February 28, 2017 / 8:15 PM / 3 years ago

Chinese investors looking to postpone closing of AC Milan deal

Chinese fans of AC Milan sing before their team's International Champions Cup friendly match against Inter Milan in Shenzhen, China July 25, 2015. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - The Chinese buyers that committed to the acquisition of prized Italian soccer club AC Milan are looking to further postpone the closing of the deal, two sources close to the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

The accord, valuing the club at 740 million euros ($788 million) including 220 million euros of debt, was originally supposed to close at the end of last year but was then pushed to March 3 as the Chinese buyers struggled to get final approval from Beijing.

The two sources did not give the reasons behind the request for a further deadline extension.

They said there were ongoing talks between the Chinese investors, grouped under investment vehicle Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing (SES), and the investment company of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has owned the team for three decades.

A further downpayment to Berlusconi’s Fininvest by the Chinese might be required to further delay the closing, one of the sources said.

SES has already paid Fininvest 200 million euros in three separate tranches and is due to pay an outstanding 320 million euros.

($1 = 0.9439 euros)

Reporting by Elvira Pollina, writing by Giulia Segreti

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