Reports are emerging out of Italy that 76ers minority owner Erick Thohir is attempting to buy shares of Inter Milan, one of that country's biggest soccer teams.
Mediaset and Eurosport (both stories are in Italian) claim that Thohir was recently rebuffed in an attempt to buy a majority stake of Inter from current owner Massimo Moratti. Thohir was offered a 20 percent stake, but not the 51 percent stake he initially sought.
A 43-year-old native of Indonesia, Thohir has investments in sports teams across the globe. In addition to a 15 percent stake in the 76ers, he has a majority share of Major League Soccer's D.C. United, owns two basketball teams in Indonesia, and is the president of the Southeast Asia Basketball Association.
Forbes laid out the full range of Thohir's sports and media investment properties in this story last October.
Thohir's involvement with Inter could be to help the team get its own stadium - a feat Thohir has so far failed to achieve with D.C. United. Inter currently shares the 80,000-seat Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, commonly known as the San Siro, with city rivals AC Milan. The city of Milan owns the stadium, which limits Inter's ability to generate revenue.
Rumors about Thohir's potential move for Inter grew loud enough that Moratti issued a statement on the matter (translated into English on the team's website) Wednesday afternoon.
"The only contact Inter has had with international firms regarding the building of a new stadium are, for the moment, just an initial display of interest," Moratti said. "I will be in a position to consider them as and when that interest becomes more concrete, although this matter is not our priority at the moment. Therefore I can only dismiss the reports I read in this morning's national press, regarding a possible deal with an Indonesian group, or indeed any of the other firms quoted."