Inter Milan have become the first Serie A club to fall under Chinese ownership after the Suning Holdings Group acquired a majority share.
The Nanjing-based group – one of the largest privately owned retailers in China – has bought a 68.55% controlling share in the San Siro club, with previous owner Erick Thohir remaining president.
The Indonesian businessman, who bought Inter in October 2013, told a press conference in Nanjing: “This new partnership with the Suning Holdings Group means Inter are taking a revolutionary step into the future.
“In the past two and a half years we have built on a solid foundation, making the club stronger. Now this new partnership will allow us to take a new, decisive step forward in our bid to restore Inter to their rightful place among the world’s top clubs.”
Inter won a league, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble under Jose Mourinho in 2010 but have fallen from grace in recent times, missing out on European football twice in the last three years.
Roberto Mancini secured a fourth-placed finish in 2015-16 but the former Manchester City boss could face an uncertain future under the new regime, which also controls Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning.
Jiangsu signed Brazilian midfielder Ramires from Chelsea for 25million euros in January and Inter can expect similar funds to be made available ahead of the summer transfer window.
Suning Holdings Group chairman Zhang Jindong said on inter.it: “This historic agreement gives Inter an opportunity to experience unprecedented growth in China, so that our country will become a second home for the Nerazzurri.
“Furthermore, Suning’s investments and resources will help Inter return to their glory days and become stronger and stronger, attracting the stars of world football.”
The Chinese takeover ushers in the end of Massimo Moratti’s association with Inter. The long-serving president remained a shareholder after selling his majority to Thohir, but will now step aside.
Inter’s city rivals AC Milan, who are owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, are also reportedly in takeover talks with a Chinese consortium. Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol pulled out of a bid to take control of the Rossoneri in June 2015.