Roma release statement to confirm €591m Friedkin Group takeover from Pallotta

Roma have confirmed that owner James Pallotta has agreed to sell the club to The Friedkin Group.

The Friedkin Group have been in negotiations with Pallotta for nearly a whole year, and after months of delays, have finally found a breakthrough.

A statement released on said: “AS Roma SPV, LLC (“AS Roma SPV”), the majority shareholder of AS Roma S.p.A. (the “Team”), announces the signing of a binding Equity Purchase Agreement with The Friedkin Group, Inc. (“Friedkin”) pursuant to which, among other things, AS Roma SPV will sell to Friedkin its controlling interest in the Team and certain related assets, including the funds it has made available to the Team to support its foreseen capitalization, and Friedkin will assume certain related Team liabilities (the “Transaction”).

“The Transaction will be effected through a sale to Friedkin of AS Roma SPV’s entire 86.6% of the Team’s share capital, composed of a 3.3% direct interest in the Team, and AS Roma SPV’s 83.3% indirect interest in the Team which is held through its affiliate, NEEP Roma Holding S.p.A. (“NEEP”), for a purchase price equal to Euro 0.1165 per Team share.  More broadly, the Transaction calls for Friedkin to acquire, in addition to 100% of the issued and outstanding share capital in NEEP, also 100% of the issued and outstanding share capital in ASR Soccer LP S.r.l. and 100% of the issued and outstanding share capital in ASR Retail TDV S.p.A.  The Transaction is valued at approximately Euro 591,000,000.

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“The Transaction is anticipated to close by the end of August 2020, and is subject to customary closing conditions.  Subject to certain conditions, AS Roma SPV has a right to terminate the Transaction and retain an earnest-money deposit made into escrow as a customary termination fee in the event that the Transaction does not close on or before 17 August 2020, as that date may be extended by AS Roma SPV.  In addition, subject to certain conditions, each of AS Roma SPV and Friedkin has the right to terminate the Transaction without retention of any termination fee in the event that the Transaction does not close by 31 August 2020.

“The completion of the Transaction will trigger an obligation on Friedkin to launch a mandatory tender offer on the outstanding shares of the Team (representing approximately 13.4% of the Team’s share capital) pursuant to applicable laws and regulations.”

Dan Friedkin built his fortune distributing Toyotas in the Gulf States of the USA. He has a net worth of approximately $4.1bn (about €3.5bn).

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He said: “All of us at The Friedkin Group are so happy to have taken the steps to become a part of this iconic city and club. We look forward to closing the purchase as soon as possible and immersing ourselves in the AS Roma family.”

Pallotta has been a divisive figure during his near-decade as president. Some fans have criticised him for overseeing the sales of the club’s best players – although the counter-argument would be that he has had to operate under Financial Fair Play restrictions – and the departures of club legends Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi, as well as his absence from Rome.

However, he did stabilise the club financially after taking over, and has built Roma up as a global brand. Among the club’s best off-the-pitch achievements during his time in charge are the development of an industry-leading club website and social media profiles, as well as greater distribution of merchandise abroad and securing more lucrative sponsorship deals.

Pallotta added: “I am pleased to confirm we have reached an agreement with the The Friedkin Group for the sale of AS Roma. We have signed the contracts tonight and, over the coming days, will now work together to complete the formal and legal process that will result in the club changing hands. Over the last month, Dan and [son] Ryan Friedkin have demonstrated their total commitment to finalising this deal and taking the club forward in a positive way. I am sure they will be great future owners for AS Roma.”

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