Zhang and Oaktree in race against time: Potential legal battle looms


Inter Milan face a crucial period as the deadline for refinancing approaches, bringing with it the possibility of a legal battle.  The anxiety surrounding Inter stems from club president Steven Zhang’s efforts to secure refinancing to maintain control of the Nerazzurri. With the deadline fast approaching, the outcome remains uncertain, and an extension might be needed to determine the final result.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that today is theoretically the last business day available to sign an agreement with Pimco for a three-year, €430 million loan. This loan is essential for Zhang to repay Oaktree, whose financing expires on Monday, requiring a repayment of approximately €375 million. The crux of the issue lies with Oaktree, which is using all its resources to obstruct the new refinancing deal, leveraging its pledge on Inter’s shares.

Time is running short, possibly too short, suggesting that Oaktree is trying to pressure Suning. Oaktree’s strategy is linked to a warranty clause, ensuring the fund a 20% profit from the difference between a pre-agreed valuation (rumored to be €800 million) and the actual sale price if Inter changes hands.

This clause would activate in the event of an immediate sale of the club but remains in effect even if the refinancing with Pimco is successful. In other words, if Inter were sold within 18-24 months, Oaktree would still receive its guaranteed profit. Hence, Oaktree is pushing for an immediate sale or a refinancing deal with a shorter duration than the three years provided by Pimco to expedite their 20% return.

The Pimco-Suning agreement could be finalized over the weekend, with a deadline of Sunday. The transfer of funds from one entity to another could technically occur by Tuesday, May 21, as May 20 is a holiday in Luxembourg. Various scenarios remain possible, including a potential legal dispute between Suning and Oaktree and a risky operational freeze for Inter, which would be particularly damaging on the eve of a crucial transfer window and contract renewal period.


Serie A obsessive.