From AC Milan to Made in Italy: Italian icons attract foreign investors

Milanese football clubs attract foreign investors – Italy’s capacity to attract foreign capitals is on the rise. This is what emerged from At Kearney’s FDI Confidence Index, an annual survey of global business executives that ranks which markets are most likely to attract new investments in the years to come.

According to the global management consulting firm’s latest issue, Italy has gained three positions since last year, jumping from the 16th to the 13th place and reducing the gap with Switzerland. Only Sweden (15th place) made a larger gain in the ranking.

What are the reasons beyond Italy’s success? For At Kearney, the reasons are to be found in several reforms enacted in recent years, in particular those that streamlined labor policies and made starting a business easier.

What industries are propelling Italy’s rise? The American consultancy firm explains that the service industry is pushing Italy forward and strengthening Italy’s business environment. Yet, there’s another industry which has drained the attention of foreign investors: football.  In particular, Milanese football.

The globalisation of football combined with the rise of its strategic importance made it possible to transform the most widely diffused game in one of the most profitable industries worldwide (Deloitte Football Money League 2017).

The latest big football club acquisition involved AC Milan, sold for € 740 million to a Chinese consortium in what will be remembered as the biggest-ever Far Est investment in the industry.

The closing of the deal took place at the Milanese office of Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners, one of the most important law firms in Italy when it comes to intermediate businesses between Italy and China. In the AC Milan deal, GOP assisted the buyer, Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux.

One of Invest in Lombardy Premium Partners, the law firm  supportsChinese companies investing in Europe and European companies investing in the Far East thanks to its Milan office Chinese practice and a consolidated  “east side” expansion strategy. GOP also has a Local office in Hong Kong and partners with the Chinese Law firm Han Kun, one of the most important in China.

The AC Milan deal follows retail giant Suning Commerce Group’s purchase of crosstown rival Internazionale FC in 2015.

Why are Italy and Lombardy so attractive? The country is today perceived as more stable and, in the particular case of Lombardy, the region has many excellences to communicate.  With more than 800.000 businesses, Lombardy is home to more than 15% of Italy’s total, providing job to more than 3 million people. Moreover, Lombardy is a gateway to accessing global markets: more than a quarter (27%) of Italian exports originate within the region. Lombardy is also the Italian hub for talents 13 universities, 500 R&D centres and 6 scientific and technologic parks.

Not only  Human Capital, excellent supply chains and unparalleled cultural heritage, it seems that Lombardy has gained a new reason of attractiveness: football.

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