Suning, the group of Chinese businessman Zhang Jindong, has set a specific deadline to decide whether to refinance its debt or sell Inter FC, the well-known Milanese soccer team. This deadline will expire at the end of February.
May 2024 has always been clearly marked on the calendar as the deadline for Suning to make a decision on its future at Inter because of the expiration of its major loan with the U.S.-based Oaktree Group, which would become the owner of the group if it fails to refinance or repay.
Repayment seems out of the question for the Chinese group, which is currently struggling with the crisis in the Chinese real estate market, so only the options of refinancing the Oaktree loan or selling the team to the Americans or others remain.
In theory, in other words, Suning would prefer to refinance the operation, but time is at a minimum and resources for the operation do not abound.
Since the refinancing operation would take at least six weeks, this is the deadline to carry out the transaction.
In the coming weeks, Inter will work with the U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs to find a new lender to help cover the debt. In fact, one problem comes to be the interest rate to refinance the debt, which is linked to Suning’s poor credit rating and thus comes to travel between 16 percent and 18 percent.
Should the team be sold, there is talk of contacts with the Raine Group, the international consulting group specializing in M&A that helped sell Chelsea to the consortium led by Todd Boehly.
Any refinancing of the club would have the advantage of relying on the future construction of the Rozzano stadium, which would give the team great financial strength, as was the case with Juventus. At the same time, however, the problems of the Zhang family in China weigh negatively, with lawsuits weighing on the group, making it complex to use financial instruments.