Chinese companies build sports stadia all over the world, though usually in developing nations not in one of Europe’s larger economies. So this Bystander is not sure whether state-owned China Railway Construction Corp.’s decision to become part of a Chinese investor group that is about to become the second largest shareholder of Italian football powerhouse Inter Milan–and get to build its new stadium–says more about it or the parlous state of the Italian economy.
The deal values the Italian team at $600 million, which would make it one of the 10 most valuable football clubs. The Chinese investor consortium, which includes QSL Sports, run by Kenneth Huang Jianhua (above left), a 15% stake. The lady in the center of the photo is China Railway Construction’s Kamchi Li; Inter’s Massimo Moratti is to the right. Huang and Li, along with financier Fabrizio Rindi, are joing the board of the club’s holding company following the deal. The Moratti family, which has been looking for outside investment for the club for some time, will remain the controlling shareholder of the football club.
China Railway Construction, for the benefit of younger readers, is the old railways construction arm of the People’s Liberation Army. It is now a state-owned enterprise with a Hong Kong listing.
Inter currently shares the venerable but municipal-owned Giuseppe Meazza stadium, better known still by its original name, the San Siro, with its cross-town rival AC Milan. But Inter’s president Massimo Moratti has long wanted to move his club to a home of its own. Now he has some one to build it.