AC Milan headquarters searched by police as part of investigation into club’s sale



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Police searched the headquarters of AC Milan on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the sale of the Serie A club.

Italian prosecutors are looking into the deal that saw RedBird Capital Partners purchase the seven-time European champions from Elliott Management in 2022.

They claim that Elliott still owns and controls the club with current CEO Giorgio Furlani and former chief executive Ivan Gazidis alleged to have not divulged certain information related to the ownership of the club.

Milan confirmed the raid from the Guardia di Finanza — the financial police division — and indicated they were providing their full cooperation.

A statement from the club read: “Regarding the search carried out today at its headquarters, AC Milan is unrelated and not involved in the ongoing procedure related to its acquisition, finalised in August 2022.

“The investigation, which also involves the legal representatives with signing authority, Giorgio Furlani and Ivan Gazidis, the current and former CEOs of the club, alleges improper communications to the competent supervisory authority.

“The club is currently providing full cooperation with the investigating authority.”

The investigation is believed to centre on the fact that when Elliott sold the club they provided RedBird with vendor financing to complete the deal, a practice regularly seen in private equity transactions.

It is understood that Elliott did not provide any capital to RedBird other than those vendor loans and that their funds are not invested in the RedBird funds.

A statement from the American investment firm read: “We note reports this evening that the current and former CEOs of AC Milan are under investigation in connection with an allegation that the football club still belongs to Elliott, and it was hidden from the football federation. This allegation is false.

“AC Milan was sold to RedBird on 31 August 2022. As of that date, Elliott funds have had no equity interest in, or control over, AC Milan.”

RedBird called the allegations “just false” and reiterated their commitment to their investment amid suggestions they could sell a stake in the club.

A statement read: “RedBird Fund IV and its investors own 99.93% of AC Milan; the other 0.07% are individual legacy Italian investors that are long standing fans of the club.

“The notion that RedBird doesn’t own and control AC Milan is just false and contradicts all the evidence and facts, including the ones which purportedly underlie the investigation.

“When we took control of the club upon closing, Elliott provided loan financing to RedBird with a term of three years and no voting rights. Our goal is to return AC Milan to the top of Serie A and European football — the rest of this is a distraction from achieving that goal.

“There are no discussions with any investor who would have any control in the club. RedBird is the control owner of AC Milan and will stay that way.”

Furlani and Gazidis have been contacted for comment.

(Nicolo Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)





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