Reuters reports that US billionaire Dan Friedkin is getting into football by buying Italian football club AS Roma in a deal valued at € 591 million, or nearly $ 700 million. The deal was signed by Friedkin’s own group based in Houston, Texas, which includes stakes in various industries – but it would be the group’s first major professional sports acquisition.
In a joint press release announcing the deal, Friedkin speaks enthusiastically about his new role as the owner of a soccer team:
“All of us at the Friedkin Group are very happy to have taken the necessary steps to be a part of this iconic city and club. We look forward to completing the purchase as soon as possible and immersing ourselves in the AS Roma family.
AS Roma president Jim Pallotta is also quoted in the statement:
“I am happy to confirm that we have reached an agreement with the Friedkin group for the sale of AS Roma. We have signed the contracts tonight and, over the next few days, we will now work together to complete the formal process. and legal that will result. in the club changing hands. Over the past month Dan and Ryan Friedkin have demonstrated their total commitment to finalize this deal and move the club forward in a positive way. I am sure they will be great future owners for AS Roma. “
The announcement comes as the unusually prolific directorial debut of Friedkin, a film called The last Vermeer, which premiered on the festival circuit last year, has seen its general release delayed due to COVID-19. It was originally slated to hit theaters in May this year.
The deal is expected to be finalized sometime before the end of August, with many complex financial maneuvers expected in the meantime. But the gist of the deal is that Friedkin will own a “controlling stake in the team and some related assets,” according to the press release.