Inter Milan CEO says owner looking for partner to boost liquidity

FILE PHOTO: Serie A - Serie A hold an emergency meeting on coronavirus - Coni Palace, Rome, Italy - March 4, 2020 Inter Milan chief executive Giuseppe Marotta outside Coni Palace after the meeting REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

MILAN (Reuters) - Inter Milan's owner is looking for a partner to inject fresh resources into the Italian Serie A soccer team, its Chief Executive Giuseppe Marotta told local radio on Monday, a day after the club clinched its first Serie A title in 11 years.

Chinese retail giant Suning owns 68.5% of the club, which is suffering like rivals due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The remaining shares are owned by investment firm Lionrock Capital.

"The owners are working for the good of Inter, the goal is to reach an agreement with a partner to get the liquidity that is needed right now," Marotta told Rai Radio 1, adding Suning had invested 700 million euros ($845 million) in the team so far.

Inter Milan was one of the three Italian founding members, alongside Juventus and AC Milan, of the European Super League, a breakaway project which collapsed few days after its announcement.

Earlier this year Suning held exclusive talks with London-based BC Partners, which was interested in a majority stake in the club, but talks did not bear fruit.

Inter Milan is now looking for a financing deal of up to 250 million euros to meet immediate needs and recently has been holding discussions with Bain Capital Credit and Oaktree Capital Group on the matter, two sources said.

The loan would be granted to Great Horizon Sarl, the Luxembourg-based vehicle through which Suning controls the club, one of the sources added.

Bain Capital Credit declined to comment. Oaktree was not immediately available for a comment.

($1 = 0.8286 euros)

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Elisa Anzolin; editing by David Evans)

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