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Roma Receives Formal Investor Interest
Reuters, April 18th, 2008 3:45PM

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As expected, Italian giant AS Roma received a letter from a third party interested in a potential takeover, the club's majority shareholder revealed on Thursday. While no mention was made of the investor's name, it is widely believed that American billionaire George Soros is the man behind the bid, preparing to make a massive investment to buy out the Sensi family, which runs the Serie A club. Italpetroli, the Sensi family's company, owns a 63.4 percent stake in the club, but is riddled by a massive debt of more than $550 million. According to a statement on the club's Web site, "No sale proceedings have begun."

Should Soros become the new owner, Roma would be the first Italian club to be owned and operated by a foreign investor. This is in contrast to England's Premier League, where foreigners own three of the league's highest earning and most successful clubs. Roma currently lacks the global reach of its English cousins, but wealthy foreign investors surely see this as an opportunity to expand the brand.

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