The Manchester United takeover story has taken another turn, with five bidders allegedly ready to match the club’s asking price of £5 billion ($6 billion).
- The Glazer family is open to offers.
- Sir Jim Ratcliffe is eager to strike a deal.
- Middle Eastern and American interest
WHAT OCCURRED? The Glazer family is willing to sell and move on from Old Trafford, and a deadline of February 17 has been set for interested parties to submit bids and banking guarantees.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the owner of chemical company Ineos and Britain’s richest man, is the only party to have publicly stated a desire to complete a takeover of United, with The Times reporting that he is seeking assistance from investment banks JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs in piecing together a package that will cover buyout costs and Manchester club debts that are said to top £500 million ($606m).
ADDITIONALLY, The Raine Group has been tasked with managing a prospective sale at Old Trafford, and The Times reports that they have had a lot of interest – both in terms of takeover and investment. They believe that a sum that is acceptable to the Glazers may be reached, despite initial speculation that a deal for £6bn-8bn would be required to reach an agreement.
WHAT COMES NEXT? With Ratcliffe in the picture, there have also been rumors of a fund tied to the Qatari royal family being interested. Qatar Sports Investments, the owners of Paris Saint-Germain, is not thought to be in the running because UEFA laws would ban them from owning two big teams, but potential bids are being lined up by Saudi Arabian and American financial firms.