Alibaba company takes controlling stake in Inter Milan

Chinese money will be pumped into the club

Alibaba company takes controlling stake in Inter Milan

Matthew Ashton / EMPICS Sport

Chinese electronics retailer Suning Commerce Group has announced its plans to buy a 70% stake in Italian football club Inter Milan for €270m.

This is the first time that a Chinese company has taken control of a majority shareholding in a major European football team.

The company is part-owned by the e-commerce firm Alibaba, it confirmed yesterday that it will take a controlling stake in the team which finished fourth in Serie A.

Zhang Jindong, Suning’s chairman said that this is a historic moment in the history of football in China - he added that the country will be Inter Milan's second home.

The company already owns the Chinese club Jiangsu Suning, who are third in the Chinese Super League.

The acquisition of Inter Milan is part of Suning's strategy in the development of the sports industry," Mr Jindong said yesterday.

Inter Milan chief executive, Michael Bolingbroke told Reuters that the Chinese firm will take on a large portion of the club's debt - without offering specific figures.

Suning says that it will give the club money to spend, Inter Milan last won the UEFA Champions League in 2010 under Jose Mourinho - the Italian side has not qualified for the premier European club competition since 2012.