AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed a deal with Thai investor Bee Taechaubol for a 48 percent stake in the Serie A club has been reached, and the contracts will be signed just days after his 79th birthday at the end of the month.
Former Italian prime minister Berlusconi has been in talks with potential investors for nearly a year now and Taechaubol signed a memorandum of understanding on one of his many visits to Milan in January.
It has taken since then -- and several more visits -- for the details of the agreement to be ironed out, but Berlusconi has set the date for the sale of a substantial but not majority stake in his club.
Berlusconi will remain the club's president with Taechaubol becoming vice-president once the deal goes through.
"We're going to sign two days after my birthday [Sept. 29], even if I'm at an age where you don't really have anything to celebrate on your birthday," Berlusconi told reporters in Milan.
"It's a very intelligent move. Commercialising the Milan brand, not only in China, where we have 242 million fans, but in all countries throughout Asia, is a very serious commercial plan which will see Milan gain over €100 million a year in added revenue.
"Mr. Bee is very serious, and I like him as a person too. He's a very welcome partner. We're going to make a great Milan together."
Milan are unlikely to be relocated to a new stadium, however. Plans to construct a new stadium on the former trade fair grounds in the city are to be shelved with neither Berlusconi nor Taechaubol convinced by a move away from the San Siro.
The Rossoneri won the tender to reconstruct the area, but their interest has cooled after discovering the project may end up costing them much more than they had budgeted, due to a dispute with the current owners over the state the land would be in when they take possession.
"There have been lots of negative considerations and findings [since winning the tender] and I think that the feelings I have for the San Siro will prevail," Berlusconi said.
"The San Siro is starting to look prettier now too, due to the demands UEFA have made to stage the Champions League there next year. Some problems have emerged with the Portello [trade fair] site. I and Mr Bee want to stay at the San Siro, so we will be satisfied."