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Raine Group to begin exploratory search as Inter Milan looks for new ownership

The Serie A giants have secured three major club honors since the Zhang family took control of the club in 2016, including their nineteenth Scudetto in 2020-21

Italian giants Inter Milan are on course for new ownership to arrive in Lombardy after the 19-time Serie A champions have contacted US investment bank Raine Group as well as Goldman Sachs to seek their assistance in acquiring new ownership for the club.

As reported by the Financial Times, current owners the Zhang family – with Inter’s current owner Steven Zhang at the helm of the club as president since October 2018 – will seek a bid of €1billion in order to part ways with their commanding ownership stake in the northern Italian outfit.

His father Zhang Jindong, a Chinese billionaire entrepreneur, spearheaded the takeover of Inter back in the summer of 2016 for a reported €270million and added the Italian giants into his impressive portfolio that already included Suning Holdings Group (owner), Suning Appliance Group (major shareholder), (second shareholder), and Suning Real Estate (owner).

It took Inter a few years to get going under the enormously wealthy Chinese family but it would eventually bear fruit during the 2020-21 campaign when the club bagged its nineteenth Scudetto, to follow it up with an Italian Super Cup win to kickstart 2021-22 which culminated in a Coppa Italia win last season.

Since Zhang’s arrival, I Nerazzurri invested heavily in the senior squad both on the pitch and at board level when they brought in Giuseppe Marotta as club CEO and Antonio Conte as manager, who would guide the club to its Serie A win two seasons ago.

Deals for Milan Škriniar, Laurtaro Martínez, Romelu Lukaku, Nicolò Barella, Achraf Hakimi, Denzel Dumfries, and Juanquín Correa have helped elevate the club in the last six years, and it will remain uncertain if the eventual new owners have the same impact in a similar time frame.

According to Sportmediaset, three potential bidders have already lodged interest in purchasing the Italian club; an American ownership group spearheaded by Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, a UAE-based fund, and Italian-born Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli who as of April 2021 is listed to have a net worth of $20billion and has been heavily involved with Serono pharmaceuticals, B-Flexion, and Campus Biotech.

With billionaire ownership continuing to write the new landscape across football, Inter Milan could be set to continue that trend further in the wake of the Zhang reign and could soon compete with the likes of Manchester City, Newcastle United, and Paris Saint-Germain on financial grounds.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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