LeBron James, Yankees, Drake among AC Milan’s new investors


That New York Yankees bought a minority stake in the Italian soccer champion AC Milanwhich announced the completion of its latest ownership change on Wednesday.

The Financial Times also reported on Tuesday that Main Street Advisors, the LeBron James-backed Los Angeles-based fund, is investing in Milan, while rapper Drake will also join the group.

RedBird Capital Partners completed the transaction to acquire a majority stake in the seven-time European champions for €1.2 billion ($1.2 billion).

It is the second football team partially owned by the Yankees, after MLS’s New York City.

This was announced by Gerry Cardinale, who founded RedBird in 2014 and is the managing partner a preliminary agreement June to buy Milan from American firm Elliott Management.

Yankees Global Enterprises, the baseball team’s parent company run by the Steinbrenner family, will take a about 10% stake, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity, before announcing the final deal.

Details of the Yankees’ involvement were not disclosed in the announcement.

The Yankees agreed in 2013 to acquire a 20% interest in the New York City Major League Soccer team, which was formed in 2015. City Football Group, Manchester City’s parent company, is the controlling owner.

“We have a decade-long relationship with the New York Yankees and the Steinbrenner family that has resulted in the founding of some of the most successful companies in sports, entertainment and hospitality,” Cardinale said in a statement on Milan’s website.

“We are extremely excited to continue our partnership with them and together we will explore opportunities to expand our fan reach and expand commercial opportunities only available to franchisees operating at the highest level of sport around the world.”

The deal comes just in time for Cardinale to make his debut as Milan’s new president in Saturday’s derby against city rivals Inter Milan.

“Our vision for Milan is clear: we will support our talented players, coaches and staff to thrive on the pitch and share with our fans the extraordinary experiences of this historic club,” said Cardinale.

“We will seek to leverage our global sports and media network, analytical expertise, track record in sports stadium development and hospitality to achieve one goal – to maintain Milan’s place at the forefront of European and world football .”

The Yankees, 27-time World Series champions, sign a separate marketing agreement with Milan, a 19-time Italian champion, that includes broadcasting replays of games on the YES Network, as does Manchester City. There will also be cross-merchandising between the pinstripes and the Rossoneri.

Milan claim their first Italian title in 11 years.

RedBird also has an interest in Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox. Champions League rules prohibit two clubs in the competition from being under the same ownership to protect the integrity of matches on the pitch. UEFA will likely have to make a judgment on the extent of RedBird’s influence on decision-making in Liverpool.

RedBird is Milan’s fourth owner in five years.

Milan was owned by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from 1986 to 2017, who sold it to a company controlled by Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing Co. The American hedge fund Elliott provided the financing and took control of the team on loan in 2018. Payments were not made.

Associated Press coverage.

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