Indonesia businessmen of troubled London-listed miner Bumi links buy 70% stake in Inter Milan for €300m

October 15, 2013 4:54 pm

Indonesia businessmen buy 70% stake in Inter Milan

By Rachel Sanderson in Milan and John Aglionby in London

A majority stake in Italian football club Inter Milan has been sold to a trio of Indonesian businessmen led by media tycoon Erick Thohir, becoming the latest well-known Italian brand to cede to foreign control. The long-trailed deal sees Mr Thohir and Indonesian businessman Rosan Roeslani and Handy Soetedjo take a 70 per cent stake in Inter Milan through a capital increase of an undisclosed amount.Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has reported the stake would be worth about €300m.

Mr Roeslani is a former director of troubled London-listed miner Bumi plc. In June, he agreed to repay Bumi $173m to settle a dispute over $201m in payments that had “no clear business purpose”, which a Bumi subsidiary, Berau Coal, made while Mr Roeslani was in charge.

Bumi said it has yet to receive payment from Mr Roeslani, and people familiar with the situation said the company was “at an advanced stage of preparing legal action” against the Indonesian businessman to secure the money.

Mr Roeslani did not respond to requests for comment.

Massimo Moratti, an Italian energy industry entrepreneur and president of Inter Milan, had been in talks with Mr Thohir for several months as he sought a capital injection for the club, which has not won a trophy since 2010. Last season it finished ninth in Serie A, missing out on a place in the lucrative Champions League.

Mr Moratti said he and his family would continue as minority investors, but made no mention of whether he would remain as club president.

Mr Thohir, a media entrepreneur who has investments in US football club DC United and the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, is the first Asian to invest in one of Italy’s football clubs. AS Roma is majority owned by US financial services company Raptor Group Holdings through an investment vehicle.

The deal is the latest example of a foreign investor taking over one of Italy’s storied brands as companies weakened by two years of recession seek outside capital to survive or expand into new markets.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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