06.11.2023 18:18 h

Zilliacus set to make offer to buy Inter Milan

Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus said on Monday that he is set to make an offer to buy debt-ridden Inter Milan after failing to acquire Manchester United.

In an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica, Zilliacus said that he had collected 2.5 billion euros of investment and that a part of that sum would go towards his offer to acquire Inter from the club's current Chinese owners Suning.

"I'm serious. This week or next week at the very latest the Inter owners will receive a solid offer from me to buy the club," said Zilliacus.

The 69-year-old said that the company which collected the investment -- Singapore-based XXICenturyCapital which he claims works in football and fashion -- would present the offer to buy Inter.

However the firm doesn't have a website and Zilliacus was coy in the interview as to who his investors were, refusing also to discuss who was working on his claimed bid.

Asked whether the money was coming from the Gulf states which have invested heavily in European football in recent years, Zilliacus said: "I don't want to get into such details".

"I've collected capital from various places, that should be enough," he added.

Last season's losing Champions League finalists Inter Milan, who have a 275 million-euro loan plus interest to pay back before next summer, lost 85 million euros in 2022/23.

President Steven Zhang appeared unwilling to sell during last month's annual shareholder's meeting but is reportedly ready to consider bringing in a minority shareholder and refinance the club's loan with investment firm Oaktree.

Zilliacus is a former Nokia executive who says he made his fortune in Asia's tech sector, and was little-known in his native Finland before he announced a bid to acquire Premier League giants United in March.

The Singapore resident is a passionate football fan, former owner of a hockey club, and the founder and chairman of tech investment group Mobile FutureWorks Inc (MFW).

MFW, which is an unlisted company, says it builds businesses in fields ranging from social media to online payment services, eSports, streaming video and real estate.