AC Milan bought out by Chinese investor

After 31 years under Silvio Berlusconi.

Leading football club AC Milan, which had been owned by multi-millionaire Silvio Berlusconi since 1986, has been sold to Chinese investor Li Yonghong in a deal finalised in Milan on Thursday 13 April.

The sale had a total market value of €740 million, according to a joint communiqué by the signatories of the contract. Technically the sale involved Berlusconi’s holding company Fininvest selling its 99.93 per cent share in the club to a Luxembourg-based company, Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux, created ad hoc by investor Li and named for the players’ red and black shirts.

AC (Associazione Calcio) Milan was founded on 16 December 1899 at the Fiaschetteria Toscana wine bar on Via Berchet in Milan, where until 2015 ironically the club’s arch-rival Inter operated a store for fans’ gadgets and memorabilia. The first president was a British expatriate, Alfred Edwards, who oversaw the club's first title a mere two years after its foundation. The 16-page original foundation statute was sold at auction last October.

Italy’s most successful team in international fixtures and the fourth most successful in the world, AC Milan has held 18 officially recognised UEFA and FIFA titles. Along with Inter, Milan shares second place as most successful team in Italy.

AC Milan has however not won Serie A since 2011, finishing finished seventh, 10th and eighth in the last three seasons. They currently lie 20 points behind Turin-based Juventus at sixth place in the Italian league.