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Takeover deal agreed for AS Roma

AS Roma has today (Thursday) confirmed that US billionaire Dan Friedkin has agreed a deal to purchase the Italian Serie A football club.

Friedkin, who serves as chairman and chief executive of The Friedkin Group, will assume ownership of the club from fellow American James Pallotta, who purchased Roma in 2012.

AS Roma SPV, the majority shareholder in the club, has signed a binding equity purchase agreement with The Friedkin Group for the sale of the controlling interest in the club and certain related assets.

Roma confirmed that the value of the deal is approximately €591m (£532m/$700m). The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of the month and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Under the agreement, AS Roma SPV’s entire 86.6 per cent of the club’s capital will be sold to Friedkin. The completion of the deal will trigger an obligation on Friedkin to launch a mandatory tender offer on the outstanding shares of the club.

Pallotta said: “I am pleased to confirm we have reached an agreement with The Friedkin Group for the sale of AS Roma. We have signed the contracts tonight and, over the coming days, will now work together to complete the formal and legal process that will result in the club changing hands.

“Over the last month, Dan and Ryan Friedkin have demonstrated their total commitment to finalising this deal and taking the club forward in a positive way. I am sure they will be great future owners for AS Roma.”

Dan Friedkin added: “All of us at The Friedkin Group are so happy to have taken the steps to become a part of this iconic city and club. We look forward to closing the purchase as soon as possible and immersing ourselves in the AS Roma family.”

The deal has been signed amid ongoing uncertainty over Roma’s plans for a new stadium, with the project having faced a string of delays over the years. Roma currently shares the Stadio Olimpico with cross-city rival Lazio and Pallotta has had a long-held vision for the club to move into the proposed 52,500-seat Stadio della Roma, which would be located in the Tor di Valle district.

Back in March 2019, Pallotta had expressed his hope that the project would be completed by 2023 but there has been little progress since then. His comments came after the process surrounding the project was dealt another blow following the arrest of four people, including a senior local politician.

The project was first put forward in February 2012 but has been beset by delays at government level. The project was given the green light by the city and the region’s four main governing bodies in December 2017 but still required further approval before work could begin.

Image: AS Roma