Milan: Serie A club Roma have confirmed negotiations with US billionaire Dan Friedkin to buy the Italian club.
“The Friedkin Group are in negotiations related to a potential transaction involving NEEP Roma Holding Spa and its subsidiaries — including AS Roma,” the club said in a statement.
It follows reports that the 54-year-old Texas-based businessman will imminently take over as majority shareholder from fellow American James Pallotta in a deal worth up to €780 million (Dh3.2 billion).
“Roma informs that no definitive agreements concerning a transfer ... have been formalised to date and that any potential transaction with The Friedkin Group remains subject to a successful completion of a legal due diligence upon the AS Roma Group,” the statement continued.
According to several media reports, a preliminary agreement has been reached with Friedkin to take over from a US consortium led by Pallotta, who bought two-thirds of Roma’s shares in 2012.
Since then Pallotta, 61, has been pushing for the construction of a new stadium in Rome, but it remains at a planning stage.
US-based Pallotta remains unpopular among club fans for his rare appearances in Italy and his handling of club legends Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi who were both pushed out of the club.
Friedkin is the chief executive of Friedkin Group, the owner of Gulf States Toyota, an independent vehicle distributor in the US. Passionate about cinema, he has also produced several films.
Friedkin’s son Ryan could move to the Italian capital to manage the club, according to Italian news agency AGI.
Pallotta, chairman of Boston-based hedge fund Raptor Capital Management, may keep a minority stake in the club, according to reports.
Three-time Italian league champions Roma, who have not won Serie A since 2001, are currently fourth in the Italian league, just behind city rivals Lazio.
Their last silverware was the Italian Cup in 2008.
They reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2018, but did not qualify for the European competition this season.
Who's the boss?
Following are ownership structures of some of Europe’s leading soccer clubs
Listed on the stock market in Milan, the Agnelli family that founded the Fiat motor group remain the controlling shareholder at Juve, Italian champions for the past eight seasons.
Chinese electronics retailer Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd bought nearly 70 per cent of Inter Milan for €270 million ($307 million) in 2016 in what was the highest-profile takeover of a European team by a Chinese firm.
US hedge fund Elliott Management last year assumed control of indebted AC Milan and injected €50 million to help stabilise the finances of the former European champions whose previous owners include former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Part of City Football Group, majority owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, with Chinese investors led by media and entertainment group CMC Inc holding around 12 per cent and US private equity film Silver Lake with over 10 per cent
The group’s investments also include New York City and Melbourne City, as well as stakes in Yokohama Marinos of Japan, Club Atletico Torque of Uruguay, Spain’s Girona, Sichuan Jiuniu of China and Mumbai City.
Bought by the American Glazer family for £790 million in 2005. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2012 but the Glazers retain majority ownership of the 20-times English champions. It has a current market valuation of around $3.25 billion.
The European champions and Premier League leaders have been owned since 2010 by the Fenway Sports Group after a £300 million deal. Fenway also owns the Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball team.
American billionaire and sports entrepreneur Stan Kroenke struck a deal to take full control of Arsenal in 2018 by buying out Russian rival Alisher Usmanov, valuing the English Premier League club at around $2.3 billion.
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the London club for a reported 140 million pounds in 2003 and they have since become a major force in the European game.
German champions are 75 per cent owned by their fans, with sportswear brand Adidas, carmaker Audi and insurer Allianz all having stakes of 8.33 per cent each.
The two Spanish clubs are owned by their fans through membership schemes. They regularly have the highest revenue of any European football clubs thanks to their commercial appeal.