- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

MILAN (AP) - Silvio Berlusconi is close to selling a 48-percent stake in AC Milan to a Thai investor.

The deal with Bee Taechaubol would be worth up to 470 million euros ($530 million), the Gazzetta dello Sport reported.

“For now it’s a deal that must be confirmed but it’s good for Milan,” Berlusconi said after meeting with Bee on Friday, according to the ANSA news agency. “We want to move forward and make Milan a contender again.”

Fininvest, the holding company for Berlusconi’s business interests, said the 78-year-old former Italian prime minster had approved a deal to negotiate exclusively with Bee for two months.

“Berlusconi, who will continue as president, and Mr. Taechaubol will work together to build a great and ambitious project to return Milan to the top level of Italian football,” a Fininvest statement said.

Bee runs the Thai Prime private equity group.

Berlusconi took over Milan in February 1986 and presided over its most successful era as the team won 28 trophies, including eight Serie A titles and five European Cups.

However, Milan’s form has dipped in recent years and the Rossoneri have not won Serie A since 2011.

This past season, Milan finished a disappointing 10th, thus failing to qualify for Europe for a second consecutive year.

Milan has discussed plans to build a new stadium but nothing official has been presented yet.

“The possible deal has as a goal increasing the worth and commercialization of the Milan brand, especially in Asian countries,” the Fininvest statement added.

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