For the past three decades, AC Milan has been owned by Silvio Berlusconi, the infamous former prime minister of Italy. GSR Capital, meanwhile, is run by Sonny Wu, an energy and lighting magnate. Wu’s attempts earlier this year to acquire the Lumileds lighting unit from Philips for $2.8 billion through his other firm, GO Scale Capital, were rebuffed by U.S. regulators.
Now, Wu seems ready to instead pump a portion of those dollars into the world of sport. In doing so, he joins a long line of private equity peers—including Apollo co-founder Josh Harris and Oaktree co-founder Steve Kaplan—who are making investments in European soccer clubs.