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Berlusconi Committed to Milan, Not Planning to Dilute Stake

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Italy’s soccer champion AC Milan says its owner, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, is committed to keeping the club and speculation about plans to dilute his stake are inaccurate.

Daily newspaper Il Sore 24 Ore yesterday reported AC Milan, bought by Berlusconi in 1986, was considering selling shares in an initial public offering in Hong Kong or selling a minority stake.

“I want to reassure fans President Berlusconi is staying with all the enthusiasm that he’s always shown,” the team’s Chief executive officer Adriano Galliani said in comments published on AC Milan’s website.

Fininvest on July 9 was ordered to pay a 540 million-euro ($762 million) fine to Compagnie Industriali Riunite SpA following a 2009 ruling that it bribed a judge during a takeover battle for publisher Arnoldo Mondadori Editore SpA.

In April Berlusconi’s daughter Barbara joined his son Paolo as a director with the seven-time European champion. Milan, which had an annual loss of 69.8 million euros, last season won its first league title since 2004.

“I also want to reassure fans on the commitment of the group for AC Milan to reach all the prestigious goals we have,” Barbara Berlusconi said, according to the Ansa news agency. “I’m convinced that the love of my father for Milan is too big.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Tariq Panja in London at tpanja@bloomberg.net; Chiara Remondini in Milan at cremondini@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at at celser@bloomberg.net

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