Asset manager Investcorp is in exclusive talks to buy Italian football club AC Milan from U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management in a deal that could value the Serie A team at more than 1 billion euros, according to people familiar with the matter.

Investcorp executive chairman Mohammed Alardhi and the firm’s co-CEO Hazem Ben-Gacem have been in discussions with the hedge fund’s executives since April 1, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Elliott decided in recent days to enter into exclusive talks with Investcorp, people familiar with the matter said. The exclusivity period will end in about two weeks, they added.

The hedge fund has approached multiple buyers in recent years, but none have struck a deal. Those involved in the discussions said the current discussions could still break down or lead to a minority deal.

A sale of more than 1 billion euros would mark a huge win for Elliott, who took control of the property for a fraction of that value in 2018 after the club’s former Chinese boss failed to pay debts in the hedge fund’s credit arm. AC Milan. Club a year ago.

When Elliott took over, AC Milan’s financial situation was in disarray and its performance on the pitch was disastrous. Under the ownership of controversial media mogul and former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, the team has become one of the best in the world, having not won since 2011. Italy’s top league and has repeatedly failed to qualify for Europe’s most lucrative Champions League. club game.

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After five years of restructuring and wise investment, Elliott has brought AC Milan back to the Champions League, with the team tops in Serie A and with a good chance of winning again after an 11-year drought.

Founded in 1982, Investcorp, a Gulf-focused private equity investor that made its name in the 1980s and 1990s with stakes in luxury goods groups Gucci and Tiffany, plans to continue investing in the club and cement its position at the highest level. A person with direct knowledge of the matter said that the level of European football.

Over the past decade, the firm has expanded into other alternative assets, including real estate, hedge funds and private debt. In 2016 it bought the debt management business of 3i, one of the UK’s largest listed private equity groups, for £222m, which played a key role in transforming the fund into a more globally focused investor.

Investcorp’s assets under management have grown from about $10 billion to $42 billion, as the company decided to shift its focus from a largely Gulf-based group to a global agency with 13 offices around the world.

Investcorp and Elliott declined to comment.