The New York Yankees and Main Street Advisors, a LeBron James-backed investment fund, are investing in Italian soccer team AC Milan, according to two people familiar with the deal.
The MLB franchise and Main Street—which focuses on media, entertainment and sports—will be a part of new ownership led by RedBird Capital, the Gerry Cardinale firm that is buying the Serie A squad for $1.3 billion.
The Yankees and RedBird declined to comment on the deal.
The acquisition of AC Milan, from U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management, is expected to close this fall. RedBird will be adding the premier Italian soccer club to a portfolio that includes stakes in sports properties including French soccer club Toulouse, upstart football league XFL, the YES network and Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Red Sox, Liverpool FC, Pittsburgh Penguins and Roush Racing.
The Yankees are expected to help AC Milan raise its profile outside of Europe. Among the possibilities are showing replays of AC Milan matches on the Yankees-led YES Network and the sponsoring of international friendlies at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees already have soccer interests as an investor in NYCFC, the Major League Soccer franchise that also counts Manchester City as an investor and plays its home games in Yankee Stadium
Elliott Management is helping RedBird finance its acquisition with a loan of $600 million at a 7% interest rate, according to the Financial Times. For that reason, RedBird has been actively seeking other investors so it could reduce the size of the loan, the newspaper said, and it didn’t say how much the Yankees and Main Street will own of AC Milan.
In its latest disclosed financials with Italian regulators, the Serie A club generated €244.8 million in revenue, about $246 million today, while posting a net lost of €97.9 million (about $98 million) in the year ending June 2021.