The veil will rise at the closing predicted for the end of November. The go ahead from the authorities is missing. Forchielli: here are all the doubts about the deal.
The deposit, 100 million Euros, has arrived. And the funds have been deposited to accounts payable to Fininvest. The closing is predicted for the end of November. There will be an official event in Milan and other roadshows in China to sanction the agreement. The only things to be determined are the shareholders of the network that, represented by Sino Europe, will remove Milan from Fininvest and the Berlusconi family. This is state of the complex, articulated, and long negotiation that is being carried forward on its Sino-Italian route. And this is why indiscretions frequently circulate regarding possible problems that occurred during the negotiations and evolution of the deal: like those regarding documents presented last April by Sino Europe and entered into evidence by the press agency, Bloomberg. But it’s also true that there are two other Chinese businessmen, Sonny Wu and Stephen Zheng, who, kept out of the game to buy Milan (like the advisors, Sal Galatioto and Nicholas Gancikoff), are still trying to get back in and emphasize their presence on an international scale.
This impasse is tied to the fact that the authorizations and conditions precedent the political and financial authorities in China need to give Sino Europe, guided by president Li Yonghong and his investors (the list is already compiles and known to Fininvest as well as the advisors, or Lazard and Rothschild), are still missing. But until the closing, when the balance of 420 million euros will arrive, nothing will be revealed. From what has been leaked in the past months, it should include private investors, financial institutions, businesses, and entities with the State as their primary capital investor. But at this point it’s impossible to draw up the list of names, because China isn’t giving any clues. In the meantime, fund raising is continuing on behalf of Sino Europe, a difficult task to complete, but at the moment the parties in question maintain that everything is proceeding according to plan.
“I have three series of perplexities and doubts about the Chinese acquisition of Milan: it’s not a given that the interested group will be able to raise the necessary funds; if they succeed, it’s not a given that they have the resources necessary for the long-term management of the club; nor am I certain that a group of Chinese investors will be able to manage a soccer team that demands a boss at the top.” This is Alberto Forchielli’s opinion, president of Osservatorio Asia and founder of Mandarin Capital Partners, interviewed by MF-Milano Finanza. “In some cases, like Manchester City and Inter, Chinese presented themselves with institutional names, recognized reputations, and proper offers,” Forchielli continues in his close examination, one of the first to raise questions regarding the Milan-Sino Europe deal. “In the case of the red and black club, it’s a matter of almost unrecognizable businesspeople who claimed to be part of a network that still doesn’t exist. To say the truth, we can’t even talk about a network, it’s more a collection of people that want to make names for themselves.” Forchielli has been active in the Far East for decades, and he even doubts the presence of the Chinese government in the deal. “When Beijing moves, it does so with clear structures, it has its investment fund, its organization, and embassies can intervene as necessary. In this case, it could be a local government, but it’s a totally different thing,” Forchielli specifies. “The central government has other things to think about, and it doesn’t have the political intention to do so. It would be difficult to explain to the population why it invested in billionaire soccer players and not in the Chinese society and economy.” In any case, the question is still that of the network’s members and their relative financial solidity. “Fundraising is still underway, and it’s not a given that it will end well. The plan they’re proposing is, at the least, acrobatic, at least from the perspective of economic objectives. Quintupling their investments is not very credible.” The plan to acquire Milan should then conclude with an IPO, always in China. “The China Securities Regulatory Commission is very rigid about its procedures, which are as stringent as those of a classic IPO.”