the club

Full throttle Friedkin: investments in As Roma close to one billion

With the extinguishment of the Bond and the launch of a new one, they will add 91 million. This will add up to the purchase, the stock exchange, and shareholder financing

Ryan and Dan Friedkin at the Stadio Olimpico

Ryan and Dan Friedkin at the Stadio Olimpico

26 Ottobre 2022 - 10:15

They don't talk, they pay. In fact, it’s more accurate to say, they invest. This is the concept that best showcases how men born in the USA interpret business. This is precisely like the ownership of our Roma, with Dan Friedkin in the role of the big boss, his son Ryan as his right-hand man, and the rest of the family involved (and conquered) in the Roma project. A project that is certainly not hit-and-run, but medium and long-term; as certified by all that the Texas family has done and is continuing to do since August 2020, when it officially became the owner of Roma.

The latest signal, loud, clear, and unequivocal, came recently when Roma filed a statement with the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (where the Bond had been lit) to announce its intentions on October 27th, to extinguish the Bond launched (in August 2019) by the previous ownership. The cost of the operation is approximately 266 million euros. At the same time, in the same statement, the Giallorossi company made it official that the operation will be anticipated by the launch of a new Bond the previous day that will temporally extend the debt with maturity to 2027, and perhaps even 2028. It was thought that the new loan could be higher than the expenses of paying off the previous one. In reality, according to rumors published by the prestigious economic agency Bloomberg and certainly not denied by Roma, the new loan will be lower. The rumors speculate the new Bond Roma will launch will be about 175 million. The question is, who guarantees the 91 million difference? We believe we are not wrong in answering that it will be the Friedkin family. An additional expense that, as we shall see, will bring the investment that Mr. Dan Friedkin and his family have made in a little over two years at the helm of the Giallorossi club closer and closer to the billion euro mark. The other question is, why is Roma putting up this major financial operation that is eerily similar to what Elliot did (successfully as we have seen) when he took Milan? One possible answer is that Roma, at the moment, maintains the strictest confidentiality, which is more than understandable. However, we, comparing ourselves also with some economic experts, can sketch more than one plausible answer. The first alternative is that the goal of the ownership is, over time, to gradually decrease the debt in order to arrive, within a few years, at total zero. The second, linked to the first, is the decrease in the interest to be paid annually. This is an interest, that on certain figures, sweeps with important numbers that Roma has paid about 68 million in the last two budgets and about fifty for the 2019 Bond under financial charges. The third is that the rumors circulating in the financial markets point with some certainty to an increase, and not a small one, in interest rates in the coming years. Currently, the one Roma is paying is fixed at 5.125 percent, but there is a risk that it could go up at least two to three points, and you don't have to be Einstein to understand that this means several million euros.

Further, there is another transaction that will bring the Friedkin family to invest in Roma. An investment that, as we said, is destined to always approach (and then exceed) the billion euro mark. Thus, the math will soon be done. The Texas family in the early months of 2020 had in fact bought Roma for 750 million euros (including 300 of the debt). Then the pandemic broke out, and negotiations stalled, only to resume and close with the payment of 199 million to Pallotta, to which the debt was added. However, in addition to this 199 million, over these two years, we have to add the almost 38 million spent to exit the stock market, first with the purchase of the shares, and then with the launch of the Opa that ended positively with the final exit from the "Piazza Affari". Along with this sum, over the course of the more than two years of his presidency, we must also add the item of shareholder financing that the Friedkin's never failed to provide on a monthly basis, totaling 394 million (we are missing the figure for last September because with the exit from the Stock Exchange Roma no longer has the obligation to list the monthly account statements). The total is about 630 million before adding the 270 million of debt. We are in fact over 900 million, thus the billion is there, within reach. Because just a few weeks ago, the Giallorossi presented the feasibility plan for the stadium they own, costing 581 million, with 400 million of this being taken care of with loans by taking advantage of the law for stadiums and private facilities. Therefore the remaining 181 million will come from the Giallorossi's pocket, or rather the Friedkin family's pocket, who, thanks in part to the lowering of debt, will probably have an easier time committing to a new loan.