MILAN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ACF Fiorentina announced today that Rocco B. Commisso is the new owner
of the legendary soccer club founded in 1926. The deal was closed today
“As a lifelong follower of Italian soccer, words cannot describe how
incredibly honored I am to be part of writing the next chapter in
Fiorentina’s storied history,” stated Commisso. “Florence is known
throughout the world for representing the very best of Italy’s culture.
During my three-year pursuit of this club, I gained a tremendous
appreciation for how important La Viola is to the city and its loyal
“I would like to thank the Della Valle family for their stewardship of
Fiorentina for the past 17 years,” continued Commisso. “Diego and Andrea
deserve high praise for rescuing this organization from financial ruin.
They leave behind a solid foundation upon which to build the club.”
Diego and Andrea Della Valle said: “A new chapter begins for the Viola
team that we hope will bring many successful seasons, especially for the
respectable supporters and the city of Florence to which we will always
remain emotionally attached. In assessing the various offers received,
we did not prioritize economic benefits, took in great consideration
Rocco Commisso’s expertise and competence in soccer and ultimately
accepted his offer as we believe it provides the most solid and
passionate future to the Viola. A great “good luck” to Rocco and those
who will follow him in this adventure. It’s with great gratitude that we
salute all the people who have worked with us in the last 17 years and
have given their best for the Viola jersey.”
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Chiomenti acted as financial and legal
advisors respectively for the buyer; Credit Suisse and Bonelli Erede
acted as financial and legal advisors for the sellers.
Commisso is the Chairman and CEO of Mediacom Communications Corporation,
a company he founded in 1995 to acquire and reinvigorate cable systems
in underserved communities across the United States. In 2000, he
directed a successful initial public offering for Mediacom, paving the
way for the company’s dramatic growth into America’s 5th largest cable
television provider, with over 4,500 employees serving nearly 1.4
million customers in 22 states. He took the company private in 2011, and
now Mediacom, with annual revenues of nearly $2 billion, is wholly-owned
by Commisso and his family.
In January 2017, Commisso purchased a majority ownership stake in the
New York Cosmos and became the club’s Chairman. The Cosmos are the most
recognized American soccer brand in the world. Since beginning play at
Yankee Stadium in 1971, the iconic club has won a record total of eight
professional soccer championships and brought some of the biggest stars
in international soccer to the USA including Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer,
Giorgio Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto, Johan Neeskens and more recently,
Raúl and Marcos Senna.
Commisso’s more than 60-year association with the game of soccer began
on the sandy beaches and concrete streets of his hometown of Marina di
Gioiosa Ionica in the Province of Reggio Calabria. In 1962, at the age
of 12, he immigrated to the United States along with his mother and two
sisters to join his brother and father who had already moved to the
United States in 1956. He graduated from Mount Saint Michael Academy in
the Bronx in 1967 and then attended Columbia University, with a full
undergraduate scholarship, earning both a BS degree in Industrial
Engineering and an MBA degree from its Graduate Business School.
Commisso played soccer for the Columbia Lions from 1967 to 1970. He was
a member of a freshman squad that finished with an undefeated record and
in his final season he was Co-Captain of the 1970 team that made
Columbia’s first ever appearance in the NCAA Playoffs. A three-time
All-Ivy League Honoree, Commisso was invited to try-out for the U.S.
Soccer Team organized for the 1972 Olympics.
After playing at Columbia University, Commisso competed as a
semi-professional in the New York area, coached at the youth level for
15 years, and remained an active contributor to his alma mater men’s and
women’s soccer programs. In the mid-1970’s, he co-founded Friends of
Columbia Soccer and, from 1978 to 1986, he was its Chairman. In 2013,
Columbia recognized his contributions to the university by naming its
soccer venue at the school’s Baker Athletics Complex as the Rocco B.
Commisso Soccer Stadium.
Commisso has garnered numerous professional awards throughout his
career, including induction in the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame
and receipt of the Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership, the
cable industry’s highest honor. For his lifetime dedication to the
“beautiful game,” Commisso was honored by the New York City Soccer Gala
and enshrined into the Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame and the National
Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.
Incredibly proud of his Italian heritage, Commisso was honored in 2018
as part of the Carnegie Corporation Great Immigrants Tribute and is the
past recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Gruppo Esponenti
Italiani (GEI) Friendship Award, and Foreign Policy Association Medal.
About Mediacom Communications
Mediacom Communications Corporation is the 5th largest cable operator in
the United States and the leading gigabit broadband provider to smaller
markets primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. Through its fiber-rich
network, Mediacom provides high-speed data, video and phone services to
nearly 1.4 million households and businesses across 22 states. The
company delivers scalable broadband solutions to commercial and
public-sector customers of all sizes through Mediacom Business, and
sells advertising and production services under the OnMedia brand. More
information about Mediacom is available at www.mediacomcable.com.
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