ROME - AS Roma became the first Serie A
club to be foreign owned on Thursday after an American group
fronted by Boston businessman Thomas DiBenedetto finally
completed a takeover that had dragged on for months.
DiBenedetto's four-man group had struck a deal with
UniCredit bank in April to take a 67 percent share of the club,
with the Americans controlling 60 percent of the new consortium.
UniCredit, who retain the remaining 40 percent, had last year
taken on the Sensi family's majority share in the club in return
for cancelling their debt.
"We have concluded all the formalities, the price has been
paid and the equity distributed," Roberto Cappelli, the
UniCredit lawyer who is acting as Roma's interim president, said
in a statement on the club's website.
"The operation has lasted nine months, like a difficult
pregnancy, but we have finally reached our goal.
"The intention is not to deceive but to build something that
will last," added Cappelli, who is expected to be replaced as
Roma president by 62-year-old DiBenedetto at the club's next
board meeting in September.
"This is why UniCredit did not wish to accept the first
offer that was made but to wait and choose the best project for
DiBenedetto, who is also a partner in New England Sports
Ventures - which owns baseball club Boston Red Sox and Premier
League side Liverpool, heads a group comprised of investors
James Pallotta, Michael Ruane and Richard D'Amore.
Despite the protracted takeover, Roma, who finished a
disappointing sixth in Serie A last season, have recruited
fledgling Spanish coach Luis Enrique from Barcelona B and
experienced Walter Sabatini as sporting manager.
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