The New York Yankees baseball franchise and a Los Angeles investment fund are preparing to announce an investment in Italian football club AC Milan alongside US private equity group RedBird, which is closing in on the €1.2bn acquisition of Italy’s football champions, the Financial Times has revealed, citing two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
The FT added that RedBird is set to announce the entry of its new partners as early as Wednesday when it is expected to officially take control of the club from its current owner, US hedge fund Elliott Management.
The deal, orchestrated by RedBird’s founder Gerry Cardinale, highlights the continued appetite among US investors to invest in football, particularly in the Italian league.
The deal would represent a massive boost to the Rossoneri, with the Yankees representing one of the biggest brands in sport, with a Major League Baseball-record 27 World Series championships. The Yankees are co-owners, with Manchester’s City Football Group, of the New York City FC franchise of US-based Major League Soccer.
The report adds that the Yankees will work closely with AC Milan as Cardinale tries to increase the Italian club’s revenues and on-field successes, people familiar with the matter said.
Part of the collaboration could include AC Milan programming on the YES Network, a regional sports network owned by a consortium of the Yankees club, Amazon, RedBird and Sinclair Broadcast Group.
According to those briefed on the situation, Cardinale’s existing business network of prominent athletes and celebrities assisted in facilitating the arrangement with Main Street. According to two sources, James, Iovine, and Drake are passive investors in Milan through the fund and have not purchased direct holdings.
AC Milan have won the Italian title last season and have taken seven points from the first three games of this season’s Serie A.