MILAN Silvio Berlusconi and the Chinese investors seeking to buy Italian football club AC Milan are discussing the possibility of postponing the closing of the deal to the end of February, two sources close to the matter told Reuters.
One of the sources added that Berlusconi's holding company Fininvest could ask for a further 100 million euros ($107 million) from the Chinese consortium in exchange for the delay and that a final decision would be made in the next few days.
The investors, backed by Haixia Capital and entrepreneur Yonghong Li, signed an accord in August to gain full control of the Serie A team, through investment vehicle Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing (SES).
On Saturday Berlusconi said approvals from the Chinese government for the final 420 million euro payment could delay the closing, initially expected for Dec. 13, and that he was prepared to postpone it by up to six weeks.
The group has already paid 100 million euros in two separate tranches to Berlusconi's family holding company.
"In today's meeting, the financial aspects and the timings (were discussed) in view of the finalisation of the operation," said a joint Fininvest and SES statement on Friday.
The note gave no indication of the delay but added that Fininvest and SES had scheduled a meeting next week for "the analysis of all necessary details."
($1 = 0.9381 euros)
(Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Giulia Segreti; editing by Philip Pullella and Elaine Hardcastle)