US group closes deal to take over Roma

US group closes deal to take over Roma

Published Aug. 18, 2011 1:48 p.m. ET

A group of American investors led by Boston executive Thomas DiBenedetto finally closed a deal Thursday to take over the Roma football club, four months after a preliminary agreement.

The deal makes the four-man American group the first foreign majority owners of a Serie A club.

Under the terms of the preliminary deal signed in April, DiBenedetto's group is paying about ?70 million ($100 million) for a 60 percent share of a new company that owns roughly two-thirds of Roma. The Unicredit bank retains 40 percent of the club.

Last year, Unicredit became co-owner of Roma following a debt-for-equity swap with the Sensi family.


DiBenedetto arrived in Rome on Thursday to personally sign off on the deal in a meeting with Unicredit officials. However, he'll still have to wait until Roma's next board meeting to officially become the club president.

Early last month as delays dragged out in the takeover, Unicredit lawyer Roberto Cappelli was appointed interim president.

After the signing, DiBenedetto was expected to travel to Slovakia for Roma's season opener against Slovak Bratislava in a Europa League playoff.

DiBenedetto is also one of approximately 13 limited partners in the Boston Red Sox baseball team ownership group. The other members of the group that agreed to buy Roma are James Pallotta - a minority owner of the Boston Celtics basketball team - Michael Ruane and Richard D'Amore.