A consortium of Chinese businessmen and other investors is close to a deal to acquire Italian soccer club AC Milan.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the group is buying 80 percent of the club, which is valued at US$827 million.
The deal includes 200 million euros (US$220.4 million) in debt.
That would make this the biggest acquisition powered by Chinese money for control of a world-class soccer team.
The agreement, expected to be completed this month, also provides for the group to buy the remaining 20 percent and put in 400 million euros of new investment in the next two to three years.
Italian investor and sports-business consultant Nicolas Gancikoff has a leading role in the deal and is expected to become a top executive in the club once the sale is completed.
The investor group includes Chinese investment firm GSR Capital.
GSR chairman Sonny Wu helped Gancikoff line up Chinese investors for the deal, according to people cited by WSJ.
AC Milan, founded in 1899, has won 18 Italian Serie A league titles and has the most UEFA Champions League trophies with seven, topped only by Real Madrid.
Media tycoon and former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi acquired the club 30 years ago, saving it from the brink of bankruptcy and soon lifted it back to world-class status.
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