Baidu denies moves to buy AC Milan

Central Station | 20 Jul 2016

Chinese internet company Baidu denied reports that the firm - or its billionaire chairman Robin Li Yan-hong - are involved in a deal to buy Italian soccer team AC Milan.

China state broadcaster CCTV said that Li was part of a group close to acquiring the team for US$437 million (HK$3.4 billion).

Milan, the seven-time European champion, is close to being sold to a Chinese group, according to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose family investment vehicle controls the team.

A Chinese consortium has been in exclusive talks since April about taking over Milan, which has suffered from a lack of investment and success in recent years. That group doesn't include Baidu or its chief executive Li, said the company's spokeswoman Whitney Yan.

If a sale of Milan goes through, the city's two top teams would both be owned by Chinese investors.

In June, a unit of Suning Holdings Group bought about 70 percent of Inter Milan for US$306 million.

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