£5 billion bids prepared for Manchester United as 9 pm deadline soars

£5 billion bids prepared for Manchester United as 9 pm deadline soars

Bids of more than £5 billion to buy Manchester United are expected before the deadline of 9 pm tonight.

There will be at least five bids and there could be as many as eight before the Raine group who are marketing the sale closes for business at 5 pm in New York (9 pm UK time).

Not all of those bids are to buy the club outright, though, with at least half expected to be from those interested in a minority stake or those who are willing to provide financing options for other parties.

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamas Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe are the leading contenders but there is no favourite at present, with the highest first-round bids having valued the club at around £4.5 billion well short of the Glazer family's £6 billion asking price.

Other known bidders so far include Elliott Management, while Ares, MSD Partners and Oaktree Capital are also said to be interested.

There is no guarantee the Glazer family will sell United and they may decide to sell a minority stake and use capital raised to pay down debt and invest for growth.

The Raine group and the Glazers will take around a week to evaluate the new bids and decide on their next move.

One bidder could be given exclusivity, although it is more likely there will be another round of bids with a smaller group of preferred bidders.

Ratcliffe and his INEOS delegation have been described as impressive and sophisticated in their approach having visited the club for six hours last Friday.

Ratcliffe says he will not pay a "stupid" price for United but his interest in club would be "purely in winning things", calling the club a "community asset".

It was previously understood the Qatari bidders were determined not to pay over the odds for the club, but that stance has softened in recent days coinciding with a delegation's visit to Old Trafford.

A Qatari delegation travelled to Manchester from London by train and received a warm welcome. Talks were held across 10 hours a lot longer than expected.

Sheikh Jassim and members of his team had been to Old Trafford as fans before, and the focus of this visit was to get a perspective on what they could do with their capital investment regarding infrastructure, youth development and the women's team.

Any bid of more than £3.75 billion would break the world record fee for a sports club set when the Denver Broncos were sold last summer.

The Washington Commanders are also up for sale and are expected to change hands for more than that as well.

Previous Post Next Post