Davis Polk advising Elliott on AC Milan deal

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher advising RedBird Capital Partners on €1.2 billion acquisition



Davis Polk is advising an affiliate of Elliott Management in connection with the €1.2 billion acquisition of AC Milan by RedBird Capital Partners.


Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is advising RedBird Capital Partners.


Elliott will retain a minority financial interest in the club as well as seats on the board of directors.


The transition to new ownership will take place over the summer, with an expected closing “no later than September 2022”, according to a Davis Polk statement.


Founded in 1899, AC Milan is a professional football club based in Milan, Italy. RedBird Capital Partners is a private investment firm focused on building “high-growth companies alongside entrepreneurs in its four areas of domain expertise: sports, media, consumer and financial services”.


The Davis Polk corporate team includes partners William H. Aaronson and Darren M. Schweiger and associates Michael Gilson and Steven Jaffe. Partner J.W. Perry and associate Jack Orford are providing finance advice. Partner Frank J. Azzopardi and associate Brette L. Trost are providing intellectual property advice. Partner William A. Curran is providing tax advice. Partner Jennifer S. Conway is providing executive compensation advice. All members of the Davis Polk team are based in the New York office.


The Gibson Dunn corporate team was led by partners Richard Birns and Stefan dePozsgay and includes partner Sean McFarlane and associates Matthew Schwartz, Joey Herman and Zachary Landow. Partners Doug Horowitz and Ben Myers and associate Charlie Osborne advised on finance aspects. Partner Kathryn Kelly and associate Ryan Rott advised on tax aspects and partner Michael Collins advised on benefits. Partner Attila Borsos advised on antitrust aspects; partner Maurice Suh advised on sports law aspects; partner Alexander Southwell and associate Snezhana Stadnik Tapia advised on privacy aspects; and associate Meghan Hungate advised on IP aspects.


RedBird founder and managing partner Gerry Cardinale said: "We are honoured to be a part of AC Milan's illustrious history and are excited to play a role in the Club's next chapter as it returns to its rightful place at the very top of Italian, European and world football. I want to thank Gordon Singer and the entire Elliott team for the tremendous work they have done over the last four years in rebuilding Milan and returning it to its rightful place at the top of Serie A. RedBird's investment philosophy and track record in team ownership has shown that football clubs can be successful on the pitch and sustainable off it - we are looking forward to a long term partnership with the club, its management team and Milanisti around the world to keep propelling Milan in the years to come."


Elliott managing partner Gordon Singer commented: "When Elliott acquired AC Milan in 2018, we inherited a club with a tremendous history, but with serious financial problems and a mediocre sporting performance. Our plan was simple: to create financial stability, and to return AC Milan to where it belongs in European football. Today, I believe we have accomplished both. As we make this remarkable transition to AC Milan's next chapter, I want to express our deepest sense of humility, pride and above all gratitude for the experiences we have shared with each member of the AC Milan family: We could not have done any of this without you, Il Popolo Milanista".