NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge has authorized a minority investor in AC Milan to obtain documents in a legal effort to block the hedge fund Elliott Investment Management LP from completing a 1.2 billion euro ($1.21 billion) sale of the Italian football club.
Blue Skye Financial Partners, which said it owns 4.3% of AC Milan, accused Elliott of violating its rights by engaging in several months of “behind closed doors” talks to clinch a sale of the seven-time European Cup winners to U.S. investment firm RedBird Capital Partners.
In an order dated July 5, U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla in Manhattan said Blue Skye had met the legal standard to obtain its requested “limited” number of documents to use in Luxembourg court actions to block the sale or obtain damages.
Failla said Blue Skye’s proposed subpoenas were neither unduly intrusive or burdensome, and nothing suggested Blue Skye was trying to circumvent legal procedures outside the country.
In a statement on Friday, Elliott said it would defend against Blue Skye’s “frivolous and vexatious” actions, and that Blue Skye would receive everything it is owed.
A spokesman for RedBird had no immediate comment. Lawyers for Blue Skye did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Elliott took over AC Milan in 2018, and has said it planned to retain a minority stake and board seats. It hopes to complete the sale by September.
RedBird is also an investor in Fenway Sports Group, which owns English Premier League football team Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
In May, AC Milan clinched their first Italian Serie A league title in 11 years.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Alfredo Faieta and Elvira Pollina in Milan; Editing by Toby Davis)