MILAN, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Italian soccer club AC Milan has picked Bank of America Merrill Lynch to find lenders interested in refinancing the club and debt at its holding held by U.S. hedge fund Elliott, a source close to the matter said on Monday.
Elliott gave Chinese businessman Li Yonghong a 180 million euro ($223 million) lifeline last year to complete the purchase of the Serie A club plus 128 million euros to inject into the team, fund the acquisition of players and allow the club to repay its debt with banks.
The loans, with an average interest rate of just below 10 percent, will have to be repaid by October. In case of default, Elliott could take over the club. Earlier this month AC Milan's CEO Marco Fassone said he hoped to wrap up a refinancing deal by April.
AC Milan did not immediately respond to a request for comment. ($1 = 0.8085 euros) (Reporting by Elvira Pollina, edited by Stephen Jewkes)