Jones Day and Cleary score goal for Indonesian acquisition of Inter Milan

Jones Day and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton have taken lead roles on the first major Asian investment in Italy’s Serie-A football clubs.

FC Internazionale Milano (Inter) and its majority shareholder Internazionale Holding, wholly controlled by Italian oil tycoon Massimo Moratti, has recently signed an agreement to sell 70 per cent stake in the football club to three Indonesian businessmen, Erick Thohir, Rosan Roeslani and Handy Soetedjo. The deal is estimated to be worth up to £300m.

A team from Jones Day’s Hong Kong and Milan office led by Milan M&A partner Marco Lombardi and Hong Kong banking and finance partner Maria Pedersen advised the Indonesian investors.

Inter and its majority shareholder instructed Cleary’s Milan-based corporate partner Roberto Casati for advice on the transaction.

“It’s a ground-breaking deal, which sees one of the first Asian investors in this level of clubs in Italy,” said Pedersen. “It is also an incredibly interesting deal to work on that have presented as much cultural challenges as legal ones.”

The first Serie A club to cede majority ownership to foreigners was AS Roma, which was taken over by a group of Boston investors in 2011.