International by definition, for over 110 years. And soon, the history of Inter will once again be confirmed thanks to a new minority shareholder. LionRock Capital is headquartered in Hong Kong, a former British colony, now a Special Administrative Region of China, which has always been a meeting point between East and West. The investment fund will acquire 31% of Inter which is still held by Erick Thohir and it is founded by Daniel Kar Keung Tseung whose business connects China and the United States, further expanding horizons.
Tseung, moreover, studied in the US and not just at any university: Princeton and Harvard. Today, he is 47 years old but SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) has traces of him on the board since 2004. He started with investment funds as early as the 1990s, but in his career, he was on board of directors of several companies such as the Chinese equivalent of Starbucks in Gourmet Master, a building materials supplier in Ohio named Owens Corning, but also e-learning companies that helped train Beijing’s top state executives (Chinacast Education Corporation). This last experience confirms that, despite “western” profiles on social media, his relationship with the Chinese government is positive: almost a necessary condition to do business in the Asian country. He is a Protestant Christian, married with two daughters, one in elementary and the other is just a bit younger. He is fond of tennis and a fan of Jeremy Lin, NBA player of Asian origin who had a couple of great seasons.
His fund invests in established companies but also in startups: the idea, which will please Inter fans, is that LionRock loves to see the companies that it invests in grow by pumping in necessary capital. Founded in 2011, the fund has a small structure of 27 employees, recored a profit of $5.4M in 2018 and has Karen Lai as director of investments. Their headquarters is in Hong Kong but has a sister company in the Cayman Islands. In Europe, LionRock has investment in Hailo, a taxi company (also present in Italy). In sports, the most important partnership is with Suning Sports and Inter are the first football club in its portfolio.
When everything is closed with Thohir, there will be room for Tseung and/or one of his men to enter Inter board of directors. The plans for the future, with a brand new stadium on top of the list, will be discussed with the Hong Kong partners beforehand. To renovate the Meazza, but also to build a new stadium in the same area (this is the favorite option), they need capital, investment and a partner in full harmony. And the ties between Tseung and Zhang have become sufficiently close in these years.