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Inter Milan taken over by US investment firm Oaktree after Chinese owners fail to repay loan

By Maisie Linford and Matias Grez, CNN

(CNN) — US-based investment firm Oaktree Capital Management said on Wednesday it has “assumed ownership” of recently crowned Serie A champion Inter Milan.

Inter’s Chinese owner, Suning, failed to repay a loan now worth €395 million ($428 million) that was taken out to help finance the club during the Covid pandemic.

In a statement, Oaktree said: “We understand the great responsibility towards the community and the historical legacy of Inter.

“We are committed to the long-term success of the Nerazzurri and believe that our ambitions for the Club match those of its passionate fans in Italy and around the world.”

Oaktree is an industry powerhouse co-founded by Howard Marks with $192 billion in assets under management.

Suning bought a majority stake in Inter back in 2016 and the club has enjoyed consistent success in the eight years under Chinese ownership, twice winning Serie A and the Coppa Italia. The team also won three Italian Supercups and reached the finals of the Champions League and Europa League.

“During the approach of the pending Oaktree facility redemption date, we have been making every attempt with our partner to find an amicable resolution, including multiple paths for Oaktree to achieve full and immediate financial return,” former Inter president Steven Zhang said in a statement on Saturday.

“Unfortunately, our efforts to date have been exasperated by legal threats, and a lack of meaningful engagement from Oaktree.

“Not only has this been deeply frustrating and disappointing, such behavior now poses potential risks to the Club that could seriously jeopardize its stability.”

CNN has reached out to Oaktree for comment.

Inter is one of Italy’s biggest and most successful clubs. Its recent Serie A triumph was the club’s 20th league title, the second most in history behind only Juventus.

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