Thomas Di Benedetto has confirmed that his consortium has sealed a deal to take over Italian Serie A soccer club AS Roma, subject to regulatory approval.
The new ownership group is split between American Di Benedetto’s investors, who own 60 per cent, while the remaining 40 per cent is owned by Italian bank UniCredit, and has acquired a 67 per cent stake of Roma for Eur70.3m (US$100.7m).
Di Benedetto’s group will be obliged to make an offer to purchase the remaining 33 per cent of the club having bought Italpetroli’s stake in the club which has been heavily indebted for several years, and the takeover marks the end of a lengthy ownership saga.
Di Benedetto spoke at a news conference in Boston, stating: “The deal is done…good things don’t come easy. I never felt that I would give up on the quest for this team.”
In referring to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ownership of AC Milan, Di Benedetto added: “Our hope and our objective is to be as successful in Rome as Mr Berlusconi was with his team in Milan.”
Di Benedetto has been a partner of New England Sports Ventures, which owns the Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball team and English Premier League side Liverpool.
Di Benedetto added that he would like more players from the local region surrounding Rome to play for the club: “If you look around professional soccer today, there are a number of players who grew up in greater Rome. It’s our goal to have more of them playing for AS Roma. I think we will put in place the people who will make it attractive for these young men to sign with us.”