AC Milan's players celebrate after scoring a goal during the Italian Serie A football match AC Milan vs Sampdoria on Nov. 28, 2015 at the San Siro Stadium stadium in Milan, Italy. The match ended in 1-1 draw. (Xinhua/Alberto Lingria)
The takeover of Italian AC Milan soccer team by a Chinese consortium was completed on Thursday, the societies involved in the deal said.
AC Milan was sold to consortium Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux led by Chinese businessman Yonghong Li for 740 million euros (786 million U.S. dollars).
The sale put an end to 31 years of ownership of former Italian prime minister and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi, who had bought the club in 1986.
The finalization was the last step of a deal signed between Berlusconi's holding company Fininvest and the consortium of Chinese investors on Aug. 5, 2016, and renewed on March 24, 2017, according to the joint statement from the two companies.
"I thank Silvio Berlusconi and Fininvest for their confidence, and the fans for their patience: from today on, we will build the future," Ansa news agency quoted Younghong Li as saying in a statement.
The value of 740 million euros for the purchase included the soccer club's indebtedness, equal to 220 million euros as of June 2016, the statement said.
A 90 million euros refund for AC Milan's running costs anticipated by Fininvest since when the preliminary contract was signed last year added up to the evaluation.
"The buyers also confirmed their commitment to undertake significant capital increases and liquidity injections aimed at strengthening AC Milan's financial structure," Fininvest and Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux added.
The Rossoneri club AC Milan was founded in 1899, and is one of Italy's most iconic soccer teams at domestic and global level.
It has won 48 trophies overall, of which 30 at the national and 18 at international level, and played in 83 out of 85 editions of the Italian Premier League, or Serie A.
It currently ranks sixth this year, some 20 points behind leading Juventus. (1 euro=1.06 U.S. dollars)