Pallotta does not discount: double no to Friedkin


Pallotta does not sell Roma. At the very least not under the conditions that have arisen so far. And by now we mean from the day the pandemic started to today. The negotiation for the transfer of ownership of the Giallorossi society from one parallel to the other of the United States of America in recent weeks he had restarted the engines, never completely off, as reaffirmed on these columns from the end of February, when it already seemed black on white and instead ran aground due to the global health emergency. Difficult to quantify the exact driving intensitybut what is certain is that with the restart albeit prudent in the world, the deal on the Boston (Massachusetts) -Huston (Texas) axis it had taken on a certain shape. The parties would have to update themselves as soon as the health emergency had subsided and the scenarios would have become clearer. And so it was. With infinite due diligence, or to be redone, as it is obvious that it is because the international economy has “simply” changed between one phase and another.

Going in order, at the beginning of May Friedkin tried to bounce back to rekindle the deal with an offer (quite less than 500 million) deemed too low by Pallotta, who, although he seemed convinced by the strategy, to which his shareholders also pushed him, to sell down but by stopping the losses (the so-called stop loss), it is reasonable to think you will not accept offers lower than 500 million. Rather, it will certainly take something more, also because within the price there is a consolidated debt of 278 million euros.

In the past few days Dan and Ryan, the son of the Californian magnate based in Texas, they tried to knock on James’s door again, approaching with a “closed” offer, almost to be taken or left in these times, to 500 million for the part due to Pallotta and members and that necessary to cover the debt. In detail, from Houston they made it known that they are ready to cover, in addition to that figure, the recapitalization with an injection of 20 million immediately (useful to immediately cope with the rich amount of engagements that Roma has), to which follow another 65 million tranche. It is no coincidence that the slight increase in the offer came in conjunction with the new wind that led the Government to turn the green light back on at the Serie A championship.. Pallotta thought about it for a long time, but said no. Because he does not want to sell off, especially now that football is restarting, aware, however, that the steps that should unlock the stadium project by the summer (which Friedkin is also very fond of, of course) will play in his favor. The president of Roma currently has no intention or need (he has already reassured the Italian part of the club about business continuity and this also implies that the sports project will go on, possibly keeping the players functional and better) to sell by force or in a hurry. Also because the Goldman Sachs brochure has started to run again on the tablets, smartphones and computers of possible investors. But which are close to Rome, which could be called a distressed asset (i.e. underestimated by crisis) looking for the deal. As happened with the British fund Cvc, to be clear, that is interested in forming a newco with the Serie A League to invest in our football as a broadcaster, which recently stopped to evaluate the Giallorossi company 350 million. The crucial date that from February to today hovers as the keystone for the future of Rome, however, it appears to remain on June 30th, the classic balance sheet date, but above all the time (on June 29 in second call, to be precise) when the half-year report will be approved. At that point the picture of the right value of Rome will be clearer and it will be understood if there will be a flashback with Friedkin (we do not exclude that, given the determination shown so far, it can return to raise the stakes and fill the gap that remains between the parties for now). A pause for reflection, then, and hand to the portfolio for Pallotta.

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