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"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

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2024-05-27 16:54Posted on the official account of Guangdong Nanfeng Window

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

Author | He Sen

Edit | Jiang Jiang

Zhang Kangyang lost Inter Milan and lost the best assets in his hands.

May 21, 2024, is the last day for Zhang Kangyang to repay the 275 million euros borrowed by Oaktree Capital, with a total of 375 million euros in principal and interest.

But he didn't pay it back.

On May 22, Beijing time, Oaktree Capital officially reported that Oaktree Capital took over Inter Milan because Suning was unable to repay the loan and interest.

According to a number of foreign media reports such as "Milan Sports Newspaper", the loan of 275 million euros was borrowed by Zhang Kangyang, the president of Inter Milan Club, from the American capital company Oaktree Capital in 2021, and mortgaged the ownership of the club. This means that the insolvent Zhang Kangyang has to leave, ending the "Zhang Kangyang era" of Inter Milan for a full 8 years.

However, Zhang Kangyang did not reluctantly give up Inter Milan, and he made many efforts before the loan expired, including the fact that he had been negotiating a new loan of 430 million euros from the Pacific investment management company's Pimco Fund. But the negotiations ultimately failed.

Before the boots were settled, Italian media said that Zhang Kangyang had only one way - to persuade Oaktree Capital to extend the loan.

But the results showed that Oaktree Capital did not accept this option at all. Until 3 days before the loan expired, on May 18, Beijing time, Inter Milan's official social media announced that it had been making every effort with its partners to seek a friendly solution before the repayment date approached, including multiple ways for Oaktree Capital to obtain full financial returns immediately.

But "regrettably, our efforts so far have been thwarted by unilateral legal threats and malicious actions by Oak. Not only is this deeply disappointing and angry to us, but it also destroys the gains we have made and seriously jeopardizes the future stability of the club," reads the announcement.

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

Source: Weibo @Inter Milan Football Club

No one thought that Zhang Kangyang, the son of Suning, who had no new news in China for a long time, came with news again, but he lost the Inter Milan team he had been in charge of for 8 years due to debt.

However, in addition to the daily competitions, the last time Zhang Kangyang was widely watched was because of loan problems - he was globally collected by China Construction Bank.

In February 2023, Italian financial media Calcio e Finanza reported that Zhang Kangyang still has not repaid the money half a year after winning a nearly US$300 million (principal and penalty interest) loan dispute against China Construction Bank (Asia) Co., Ltd.

In desperation, CCB initiated judicial proceedings in Italy and the United States to verify Zhang Kangyang's assets and shares in Italy, embarking on the road of global debt collection.

At that time, CCB also said that it might send Zhang Kangyang to prison. In addition to the legal proceedings initiated in Italy and the United States, CCB also filed a second lawsuit in the Hong Kong court, accusing Cheung of lying and deliberately concealing assets in the first trial, and requesting that he be convicted of contempt of court.

But in the end, none of these gratifying news came out, but Zhang Kangyang was saddled with the name of "old lai" and lost his "best assets". It can be said that a former "son of China's top rich" and "China's most handsome and rich second generation" is now losing all the games and has no way back.

01

A big move with

A lying excuse

Although Zhang Kangyang was reluctant, he was unable to pay his debts, and he could not stop the reality of Inter Milan changing hands.

After the boots hit the ground, the former Inter president commented: "I'm sorry it ended like this. I have a lot of respect for Steven [Zhang Kangyang], he has won two titles and many trophies over the years, and the debts he can't pay off have been spent on Inter Milan and not on his own career. ”

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

Zhang Kangyang/Source: Inter Milan Football Club

After Inter Milan changed hands, Zhang Kangyang and Suning Group's 375 million euros of debt were immediately cleared, and they may also receive a "compensation". According to a previous report by Italy's Corriere della Sera, Suning's contract with Oaktree Capital stipulates that at the time of execution, Oaktree Capital must pay Suning the difference between the market value of Inter Milan and the debt of 375 million euros.

However, because Zhang Kangyang has not yet repaid the CCB's debts, he still can't get rid of the "old lai" label.

Moreover, it is quite interesting that, according to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the reason why Zhang Kangyang did not raise money to save Inter Milan was precisely because he owed the China Construction Bank a loan that had not been repaid.

"If he doesn't return the money to China's state-owned banks, how can we expect him to return it to us?" In a May 20, 2024, La Repubblica reported that managers of a large investment fund asked themselves this question in February 2023 when they studied a funding request from Mr. Zhang's advisers in their London office.

However, if you want to talk about "how a rich second generation becomes an old man", we have to start with a big move by Suning in 2019.

On June 28, 2019, Suning announced that more than 5,000 Suning stores were spun off from the listed company Suning Tesco, and the new shareholder was Nanjing Yunzhixiang Network Technology Co., Ltd., which is controlled by Zhang Kangyang. This is seen as an important step for Zhang Jindong to train his son to succeed.

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

Suning Convenience Supermarket (Nanjing) Co., Ltd. Change record / Source: Tianyancha

However, Zhang Kangyang took charge of Suning Store for less than half a year, and Suning Store began to lay off employees and close stores.

In order to borrow money to save Suning Xiaodian, in August 2020, Zhang Kangyang signed two guarantee agreements and one intercreditor agreement with China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation for the refinancing transaction of the "Suning Xiaodian Project".

Under the agreement, Zhang Kangyang's wholly-owned Great Matrix received a $165 million loan, plus a total of $85 million in bonds.

Although the two loans were not directly lent in Zhang Kangyang's personal name, he and his father Zhang Jindong served as personal guarantors in them, and the main company of the loans was also wholly owned by him.

Since then, Suning's small stores have continued to decline, from more than 5,000 at their peak to more than 100. At the same time, Suning Group also suffered a debt crisis, and the two loans totaling $250 million "smoothly" defaulted.

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

Suzhou, Suning Tesco store and Suning store/Source: Visual China

The default on domestic debt did not prevent Zhang Kangyang from borrowing a huge sum of 275 million euros from the American capital company Oaktree Capital. But in the same way, he was unable to repay the loans at home and abroad.

On August 2, 2021, CCB sued Suning Electric (the company's guarantor) and Zhang Jindong and his son in Hong Kong for failing to repay the loan on time, and the court issued a summons. Three months later, CCB applied to the High Court of Hong Kong for a judgment against Zhang Kangyang.

And Zhang Kangyang resorted to a trick to delay the army.

He argued to the court that he was not aware of the financing and was not involved in it, and suspected that the signature on the financing agreement might have been forged. But instead of winning him the initiative, this lying defense hastened the verdict against him and ruined his reputation.

The slap in the face came quickly. After Zhang Kangyang put forward his defense, after handwriting expert evaluation, five of the six signatures on the financing agreement were signed by Zhang Kangyang himself, and one was a copy of electronic signatures. On July 19, 2022, the High Court of Hong Kong issued a judgment in which Zhang Kangyang lost the case.

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

The High Court of Hong Kong ruled against Zhang Kangyang and required him to repay the loan to China Construction Bank (Asia) Limited

The judge in the case had said that Zhang Kangyang had undoubtedly participated in the original financing of the project and provided a personal guarantee for it, and that "from this point of view, Zhang's attempt to distance himself from refinancing is pointless". 

Although the lawsuit was won, Zhang Kangyang had no assets in Hong Kong, CCB did not get any money, and the road to debt collection was not over.

02

The rise and glory of the business elite

Before being collected for debts, Zhang Kangyang was also a clear stream among the rich second generation - there was little lace news, low-key and pragmatic and unassuming, and he became the chairman of Inter Milan at the age of 27.

People are also happy to talk about his outstanding appearance, calling him "the most handsome and rich second generation", which is his ability and attitude as a promising young man.

Due to his low profile, everyone does not know much about Zhang Kangyang except for his work dynamics, including his growth, life and feelings. He rarely gives interviews to the media, and some of them are only work-related content such as speeches after the team's victory.

In 1991, Zhang Kangyang was born in Nanjing, Jiangsu. At that time, he was not a rich second generation, and a year before he was born, his father Zhang Jindong had just founded Suning, selling air conditioners on Ninghai Road in Nanjing.

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

In 1990, Suning was born at No. 60 Ninghai Road, Nanjing, specializing in a 200-square-meter air-conditioning shop / Source: Suning

When he was in junior high school, Zhang Kangyang studied at Nanjing Foreign Chinese School, and was in the same school as his milk tea sister Zhang Zetian. For a long time, it has been rumored that Zhang Kangyang refused the marriage with Zhang Zetian's family arranged by his father at the age of 15, so he went to the United States to study in high school. But no one has confirmed this.

But it's okay to go to high school in the United States. In 2017, in an interview with Fortune magazine, Zhang Kangyang said that he had always been obedient to his father Zhang Jindong, and the only time he contradicted it was when he decided to study in the United States in the third year of junior high school. At that time, a protracted cold war broke out between Zhang Kangyang and his father, but in the end Zhang Jindong compromised and sent his son to the United States to study.

In January 2018, Zhang Kangyang posted a photo on ins, with the text "Back to where it all began", located at Mosburg Middle School in Pennsylvania. This is exactly the middle school that Zhang Kangyang went to the United States to study at that time, a traditional elite high school.

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

Source: Zhang Kangyang's social account

After graduating from high school, Zhang chose to attend the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a recognized business education institution among the top in the world. Trump's third daughter is the same as Zhang Kangyang, and Musk, Trump, and Buffett all graduated from the school.

After graduating from university in 2015, Zhang interned at Morgan Stanley, one of the world's leading international financial services firms.

In 2016, Suning acquired 70% of the shares of Inter Milan, a century-old European giant, by subscribing for new shares and acquiring old shares. Subsequently, Zhang Kangyang, who was only 25 years old and had just graduated for a year, became the youngest new director of Inter Milan.

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

On November 28, 2016, Italy, 16/17 Serie A, Zhang Jindong and Zhang Kangyang visited Inter Milan to prepare for training / Source: Visual China

At that time, Inter Milan was in a very bad situation, and it had failed to squeeze into the top three for 5 consecutive seasons. The fans are in a state of low mood and the club is facing debt, which is very stressful.

At that year's shareholders' meeting, which was also the first after the acquisition, the atmosphere was frustrating, depressed and angry, and Zhang Kangyang was asked to sit in the middle of the rostrum to respond to the sharp questions of the two or three hundred shareholders under the stage.

According to a 2017 report by Fortune, "after Zhang Kangyang's speech of less than a minute, the shareholders' meeting, which had been deadlocked to the freezing point, finally ended with a round of applause."

Before going to Inter Milan, Zhang Kangyang was not a fan and almost never watched football games, but this did not affect his later management of the world-famous football club.

In those years, Zhang Kangyang was full of spirit and unlimited scenery, and praise and affirmation followed. For example, Moratti, the spiritual leader of Inter Milan and former president of Inter Milan, mentioned Zhang Kangyang to local media: He is a young man with quick thinking, quick reaction and gentle manners.

In 2017 and 2018, Zhang Kangyang was selected as one of Fortune magazine's "40 Business Elites Under 40 in China" for two consecutive years, making him one of the youngest inductees. He was also selected with Zhang Yiming of ByteDance, Wang Xing of Meituan, and Huang Zheng of Pinduoduo.

On October 26, 2018, Zhang Kangyang officially took over the post of president of Inter Milan, becoming the youngest president in the century-old history of Inter Milan.

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

Zhang Kangyang holds his Inter jersey / Source: Zhang Kangyang's social account

03

Debt collection is everywhere

"When you go to Europe and Italy and mention Suning, the eyes of the people are full of awe." When he first took over Inter, Zhang Kangyang's remarks were once ridiculed by many fans.

But it is undeniable that Inter have reversed their decline on the pitch since he took charge. In the last eight years, he has led Inter Milan to seven trophies, the second most in history.

Since Zhang Kangyang became the director of Inter Milan, he bought a house in Milan, began to learn Italian, and was based in Milan, personally supervising the game, and never missing every game.

In his first year as director, Inter Milan won three Serie A in a row. In 2018, Inter Milan returned to the Champions League after six years and started the road to revival.

In September 2017, when the president of Pirelli, then Inter's biggest sponsor, was asked about the possibility of former Inter Milan president Moratti returning to Inter, he said: "[Moratti's return] is very difficult. Steven Zhang is the future. ”

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

On January 18, 2023 local time, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the final of the Italian Super Cup, Inter Milan 3-0 AC Milan, successfully defended the Italian Super Cup champion/Source: Inter Milan Football Club's official WeChat

At that time, no one could have imagined that such a well-recognized young business elite would become notorious a few years later for evading huge loans.

It is difficult for outsiders to guess through inference why Zhang Kangyang would rather bear the infamy of being an "old lai" and lose his most valuable reputation as a businessman and avoid repaying the loan.

CCB and Volkswagen also did not believe that Zhang Kangyang could not afford to repay the money, because the 70% stake held by the Zhang family in Inter Milan was worth several times the value of the loan.

In 2021, Inter Milan was ranked 14th in Forbes World's Most Valuable Clubs and 3rd in Italy, worth $743 million.

But in the past two years, Inter Milan is also in debt, and foreign media frequently spread the news that Zhang Kangyang wants to sell Inter Milan, although Zhang Kangyang has repeatedly said that he will not sell Inter Milan, but also shows his love and attention to Inter Milan.

Some analysts believe that the potential proceeds from Zhang's sale of Inter Milan could be used to repay Suning's $336 million loan borrowed from Oaktree Capital in May 2021 to bail out Inter Milan. This is also considered to be one of the possible reasons why Zhang Kangyang did not repay CCB, because if he wants to continue to work abroad, he must first repay the outside loan.

It is more likely that Zhang Kangyang wants to keep Inter Milan at any cost, because this is almost the only high-quality asset of the Zhang family.

"The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

Source: Inter Milan Football Club's official WeChat

Suning's "edifice" has begun to tilt, and debt collection is everywhere, and there is no obvious signal that it can recover again.

But in the end, Zhang Kangyang neither paid off his debts nor kept Inter Milan.

In a 2017 interview with Fortune magazine, he mentioned that his business puppet was like Musk's, and he admired Musk's "determination to always do what he wants...... Although he also encountered a lot of problems that could make people lose their heads overnight, he still survived little by little."

At present, Zhang Kangyang is also facing a white-headed problem, and I don't know if he can survive like his business idol.

This article was first published in Salt Finance, a new financial media under Nanfeng Window

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  • "The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games
  • "The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games
  • "The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games
  • "The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games
  • "The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games
  • "The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games
  • "The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games
  • "The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games
  • "The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games
  • "The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games
  • "The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games
  • "The most handsome and rich second generation", losing all the games

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