Inter Milan presents the new coach, Simone Inzaghi, called to collect the heavy legacy of Antonio Conte and to confirm the Nerazzurri in the upper levels of the standings. A demanding challenge, not as much as that of the Zhang family and the Suning group, who bought Inter in the summer of 2016.
The rumors had been running for some time, now they have become official. A Chinese local government fund (Jiangsu province), also participated by a group of private investors including Alibaba, Xiaomi (smartphones) and Haier (appliances), took over about 17 percent of the Suning.com consumer electronics group from the Zhang family, listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
an operation, according to the Financial Times, from 1.4 billion dollars. And it has a very relevant consequence: Jindong Zhang, who founded the company in 1990 and had about 35% of the capital, loses control of the group. Now the main single shareholder Alibaba (about 20%) but the dominant influence is that of the public authority.
It should be specified, however, that Suning.com does not control Inter, whose ownership travels on a parallel and autonomous company branch of the (suffering) Zhang galaxy. The club is owned by Grand Tower, a new Luxembourg holding company, which holds 68.55% of the capital. Grand Tower wholly owned by a new entity, also under Luxembourg law, Grand Sunshine Sarl, which in turn is wholly owned by Great Horizon Sarl. The latter part of Suning Holdings Group, the Chinese conglomerate that in 2016 bought 68.55% of Inter. Great Horizon, before the 275 million refinancing operation with the US fund Oaktree, was the direct majority shareholder of Inter. Suning has pledged the club’s shares to guarantee the loan, with a maturity of three years, received from Oaktree and in the event that it does not meet the deadline, Inter would end up in American hands.
The clarification is important to understand that there is no direct link between the moves of Alibaba and other Chinese investors on Inter Milan, far from the activities of Suning.com.
The new Chinese investors have created a fund called Jiangsu New New Retail Innovation Fund Phase II, worth about $ 1 billion. What is not yet clear is whether in the transaction, that is the 17% of Suning.com passed from the Zhang family to the fund, it was the same family that collected 1.4 billion or if there was a contextual commitment to use the funds to cover the debts of the group.
According to Financial Times, Suning’s restructuring reflects the new the Beijing government’s strategy of deploying private companies alongside state-owned credit institutions to save debt-laden conglomerates, to mitigate the risks arising from financial instability and job losses.
Following the agreement, Suning shares rose 10 percent on the stock exchange, after hitting lows in recent months. The diversified investor portfolio will help Suning.com further improve corporate governance, operations and business transformation as a retail service provider, the statement formalizes the transaction.
Suning in financial trouble for a long time, Standard & Poor’s rating agency estimated its debt at over $ 6.6 billion in the third quarter of last year. The Inter world currently out of the operation, the club pledged to the American fund if Suning is unable to repay the loan. Certainly, with the parent company in economic difficulty, the task will be less easy for Simone Inzaghi as well. The Nerazzurri president Steven Zhang, after celebrating the Scudetto and closing the loan operation with the Oaktree fund, which has returned to China. Inter walks on their own, but not easy. this is the championship to win.
July 6, 2021 (change July 6, 2021 | 19:41)
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