Serie A news

Roma deny Chinese investor talks

November 25, 2013
By Ben Gladwell, Italy Correspondent

Roma president James Pallotta has called on one of the club's biggest shareholders to come clean about a reported offer for their stake in the club from a Chinese investor.

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At the end of a week in which several different names were linked with buying out the bank's share -- to which UniCredit had simply expressed its willingness to discuss a bid without either confirming or denying the presence thereof -- Pallotta posted a message on his club's website.

"Contrary to recent reports, there have not been ongoing negotiations between us and any potential Chinese investors," he wrote. "We are continually dismayed at Unicredit’s foolish and embarrassing promotion of false information in the media -- this is shameful and it hurts our team and our fans.

"Anybody involved in this kind of activity must be held accountable for any harm caused to our club on and off the field and should apologise to our fans."

It was reported that Wang Jianlin, head of the Dalian Wanda Group and china's richest man, was keen on securing UniCredit's 39 percent part of Neep Roma Holding's majority 78 percent stake in the club.

UniCredit would not expand upon the stage of negotiations, and assumed an official stance on Sunday evening with a reply published by Italy's ANSA news agency.

"With reference to the comments made this afternoon by the president of AS Roma, James Pallotta, UniCredit confirms, upon request from the Consob (Italian Stock Exchange commission) that talks are currently being held with an investor interested in buying part of the institution's share in the company which controls AS Roma," spokesman Renato Vichi said.

"UniCredit does not wish to comment on Mr. Pallotta's remarks other than to underline that, following the announcement made on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 21, in accordance with the regulations for listed companies, no further announcement has been made by UniCredit."

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