Oaktree works to extend Inter Milan financing package as deadline looms, sources say


MILAN (Reuters) - Oaktree Capital Management is working to extend a 275 million euro ($298 million) loan to Italy's top flight soccer club Inter Milan before it expires in May, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

In 2021 Inter Milan's main investor, Chinese conglomerate Suning, secured a deal to get a three-year financing package from Oaktree to help Inter Milan weather the coronavirus pandemic storm.

The high-yield loan was guaranteed by Suning's 68.5% stake in Inter Milan, which gives Oaktree the potential right to take control of the club in case of a default, several sources briefed with the matter said at the time.

Oaktree is now working with Suning adviser Goldman Sachs for an extension of the loan, the sources said, without providing further details. They declined to be named as discussions are private.

The terms of the extended loan are expected to be different to the original one, with one of the sources saying the maturity could be shorter.

All involved parties declined to comment or were not immediately available.

Current Serie A leaders Inter Milan recorded an annual 86 million euro loss in the 2022-2023 fiscal year from 140 million euro the year before.

Revenue rose to 415 million euros, helped by the club's performance in the UEFA Champions League last season, when the Milanese club reached the final of the lucrative UEFA competition. Total debts stood at 807 million euros.

Inter attracted interest from potential investors last year but Suning denied at the time that any deal was in the works and nothing materialised.

($1 = 0.9239 euros)

(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin, Elvira Pollina and Sophie Yu; Editing by Keith Weir and David Evans)

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