Rome: US billionaire Friedkin signs deal to buy AS Roma

Preliminary contract signed last night by new owner of AS Roma football team.

James Pallotta, the current owner of AS Roma, has signed the preliminary contracts to sell the football club to Texas billionaire Dan Friedkin, CEO of The Friedkin Group.

The deal, reportedly worth €591 million, was signed in the early hours of 6 August and will make Friedkin the 24th owner of the Serie A club.

The move comes after 10 months of negotiations and is expected to be finalised by the end of this month, according to sources close to the club.

Friedkin said he is "happy to become part of an iconic city and team," reports Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We will now work together to complete the formal and legal process that will result in the club changing hands," said Pallotta, a Boston-based billionaire of Italian descent who has been at the helm of AS Roma since August 2012.

Friedkin, whose company distributes Toyota cars exclusively in five US states, has a personal wealth estimated at $4.2 billion and according to Forbes he is the 504th richest man in the world.