Soccer: Moratti reign ends as Inter name Thohir as chairman

Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:39am EST
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MILAN (Reuters) - Indonesian business tycoon Erick Thohir has been appointed as chairman of Inter Milan, the Serie A club said on Friday as former owner Massimo Moratti's 18-year reign came to an end.

In a statement Inter said its shareholders had named a new slimmer eight-member board of directors headed by Thohir, adding that Moratti had been appointed honorary chairman.

The International Sports Capital consortium owned by Thohir and his two Indonesian partners Rosan Roeslani and Handy Soetedjo paid 75 million euros ($101 million) and took on all of Inter Milan's debt of about 180 million euros in exchange for a 70 percent stake in the soccer club, Moratti told Reuters.

"I will be paying 25 million euros into the club at a later date as part of the deal," Moratti said.

The Indonesians carried out a 10 million euro capital increase to take over the club and paid another 65 million euros as a premium on the shares bought to reach a 70 percent stake, a source close to the club said.

The deal values the club at around 350 million euros, the source added.

Moratti, whose family controls Italian oil refiner Saras, has been in charge of Inter since 1995.

Thohir, who is part owner of Major League soccer club DC United and basketball team the Philadelphia 76ers, said he aimed to use his experience and reach to increase the Inter fan base in Asia and the United States.

"To compete with other clubs and tackle all the new regulations coming in it is important for us to make sure the club will be stronger. We need to be healthy economically and financially to compete internationally," Thohir said.   Continued...

Inter Milan's president Massimo Moratti looks on before the start of their Italian Serie A soccer match against Genoa at the San Siro stadium in Milan August 25, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo