Oaktree, an American investment fund, has officially taken ownership of Serie A champions Inter. That is after Suning, led by President Steven Zhang, failed to repay a hefty $411 million loan.

The loan, provided by Oaktree in 2021, required full repayment and a substantial interest rate of 12% by May 21. With Suning unable to meet its financial obligations, Oaktree has moved to assume control of the prestigious Italian club.

Oaktree has expressed ambitions to strengthen Inter‘s foundations following the Suning era, signaling a commitment to the club’s long-term success. While speculation swirls regarding potential future buyers, the transition process is expected to unfold gradually.

“In the three years since Oaktree’s rescue financing, Inter has lifted its eighth and ninth Coppa Italia, secured its sixth, seventh, and eighth Supercoppa, earned its 20th Scudetto title and historic second star, and reached the UEFA Champions League final for the first time since 2010.

“Oaktree is dedicated to achieving the best outcome for the long-term prosperity of Inter Milan, with an initial focus on operational and financial stability for the Club and its stakeholders.

“We value the legacy of the Club, the passion of the players, the loyalty of the Interisti, and the Club’s significant role in Milan, Italy and the global sporting community”, the company said.

“Oaktree is committed to working closely with Inter Milan’s current management team, partners, the league and governing bodies to ensure the Club is positioned for success on and off the pitch; focusing on robust management, operations and governance with a vision for sustainable growth and success.”

The latest club owned by Americans in Serie A

In the next weeks, Inter will name a new president and board of directors. Tuttosport claims Inter icon Javier Zanetti is a strong candidate for the position, but the appointment is still up in the air.

This development marks a significant shift in the Nerazzurri’s ownership landscape, as they now come under US ownership for the first time in their history. The acquisition by Oaktree adds Inter to a growing list of Italian clubs with majority ownership based in the United States.

They are joining the ranks of AC Milan, Atalanta, Fiorentina, Genoa and Roma. Meanwhile, Juventus, Lazio and Napoli are part of the ten teams Italians own in Serie A. Joey Saputo, a Canadian, owns Bologna, making him the outlier among American and Italian owners.

American Derby della Madonnina

There were expectations that Oaktree may seek to quickly find new buyers for the Giuseppe Meazza outfit. However, the US fund intends to maintain control of the club for the foreseeable future. This mirrors a similar scenario seen with Elliott Management’s ownership of their rivals AC Milan. The Rossoneri enjoyed success before being its sale to RedBird.

With Oaktree, the Milan derbies in the 2024/25 season mark the first time both clubs fall under American ownership. This sets the stage for an intriguing rivalry; especially as both vie for supremacy on the pitch and navigate their new ownership structures off it.

In recent derbies, the Nerazzurri have been unstoppable, taking home six straight victories. It was in September 2022 that the Rossoneri last tasted triumph. Thus, the historic rivalry takes on a new dimension against the backdrop of shifting ownership dynamics.

The Nerazzurri dominated in recent derby clashes. Yet, the upcoming seasons promise excitement and competition between the two iconic clubs.