PIF spotted in Italy discussing the acquisition of AC Milan from Cardinale

Representatives of Saudi Arabian PIF fund were in Italy to discuss acquiring AC Milan club from RedBird and Cardinale.

In a significant development last December, compelling reports surfaced concerning the potential acquisition of AC Milan by an undisclosed Middle Eastern fund. This fund, in collaboration with football legends Paolo Maldini and Leonardo, is reportedly in talks to acquire the Italian football club from RedBird, under the ownership of Gerry Cardinale. Notably, Cardinale is actively seeking fresh investments, and recent strides have been taken in this direction.

The narrative gains new traction with a fresh report from La Repubblica shedding light on the ongoing discussions. According to the Italian newspaper, representatives from Saudi Arabia were in Milan in recent days, furthering talks with Gerry Cardinale. The Middle Eastern fund expressing interest in acquiring AC Milan is none other than the Saudi Arabian government backed Public Investment Fund (PIF). PIF currently owns stakes in several football clubs, including Newcastle United, Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr, and Al-Hilal.

Gerry Cardinale finds himself in a situation demanding urgent infusion of new investments. The American businessman is under pressure to repay a loan of 550 million, plus interest, to Elliott Management, and thus far, his efforts in this regard have borne no fruit. While Cardinale is open to the prospect of selling a minority stake in AC Milan, PIF is reportedly keen on securing full control of the club. Nonetheless, there seems to be a potential compromise, with PIF expressing a willingness to initially enter the club with a minority stake, provided guarantees are in place for RedBird to sell the remaining shares in the future.

This crucial meeting in Milan follows a series of trips undertaken by Cardinale to the Middle East. AC Milan has undergone a transformation, no longer bleeding money but instead posting positive figures. On the sporting front, the club has enjoyed success, winning the Scudetto and making it to the semi-finals of the Champions League. Furthermore, AC Milan has ambitious plans for a new stadium, a project that aims for 100% ownership by the club. As a testament to these developments, Cardinale now values AC Milan at €1.6 billion, a notable increase from the €1.2 billion he paid Elliott Management just a year ago.

La Repubblica adds  that the discussions with PIF are personally spearheaded by Gerry Cardinale, with Giorgio Furlani not playing a role in the negotiations. At the same time, RedBird are reportedly finalizing the sale of the French club Toulouse to Otro Capital, indicating a potential strategic shift as RedBird and Cardinale contemplate a complete withdrawal from the football world.

The recent developments further strengthen rumors that AC Milan are set for another change of ownership in the short term. Gerry Cardinale’s openness to negotiate with many interested parties demonstrate his intention to sell at least a minority stake. The lack of significant investments on the transfer market in January can be considered as another signal that Cardinale and RedBird’s exit is near.

READ MORE: Di Marzio reveals €30m-rated AC Milan top January target