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Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim Holds $6 Billion Manchester United Bid


In a recent development, Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani has firmly communicated to the Glazer family, the controlling force behind Manchester United Plc, that he will not revise his bid to secure the renowned soccer club for over $6 billion, according to sources closely involved.

Ineos Chair Jim Ratcliffe Gains Leverage

With Sheikh Jassim’s decision to stand firm, Ineos Chair Jim Ratcliffe, the remaining bidder for Manchester United, appears to be in a stronger position. Ratcliffe’s offer entails acquiring only a 25% stake in the club, permitting some of the Glazers to divest their holdings. However, the ultimate agreement’s certainty remains uncertain.

The precise valuation of Ratcliffe’s proposal for Manchester United remains undisclosed, but insiders suggest it surpasses Jassim’s offer of more than $6 billion. The current stock market valuation for Manchester United stands at $3.3 billion.

Ratcliffe’s Potential Deal on the Horizon in Qatar

Reports suggest that Ratcliffe’s potential deal may be officially unveiled later this month, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing sources in the know. In this scenario, Ratcliffe would oversee team operations and talent acquisition, while the Glazers would maintain control over the commercial aspects of the business.

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Sheikh Jassim’s Persistence and Debt-Free Approach

Despite Sheikh Jassim’s desire to engage in a deal and his commitment to invest over $1.7 billion in Manchester United post-acquisition, he has now conveyed to the Glazer family that persisting in the bidding process after nine months of unfruitful negotiations is futile.

It’s noteworthy that Sheikh Jassim’s acquisition would have remained debt-free, with his bid addressing the club’s existing debt, amounting to over $600 million net of cash.

Glazers’ Ambitious Valuation and Manchester United’s Global Appeal

The Glazers’ valuation expectations in Qatar have been ambitious, as evidenced by other major soccer transactions. Last year, an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital acquired Chelsea Football Club for $3.1 billion, valuing it at 5.7 times its last financial year’s revenue.

Valuing Manchester United at $7 billion, for instance, would translate to 11 times the club’s revenue over the past 12 months, according to LSEG data.

Glazer Family’s Journey and Fan Sentiment

The Glazer family, known for their real estate, retail, and healthcare ventures, as well as their ownership of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, initially purchased Manchester United for £790 million ($960 million) in 2005. The six descendants of Malcolm Glazer, who passed away in 2014, collectively control 96% of the club’s voting stock.

Manchester United, the 20-time English champions, boasts over 650 million fans worldwide, according to Kantar, a market research firm. A significant number of these fans have been advocating for a change in ownership due to the club’s declining performance under the Glazers’ stewardship.

Despite winning the League Cup under manager Erik ten Hag this season, Manchester United’s third-place finish in the league, trailing local rivals and treble winners Manchester City by 14 points, underscores the need for a significant turnaround.

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Disclaimer: Please note that this article serves solely for informational purposes. As such, it is not financial advice. We strongly advise readers to conduct thorough research and consult with financial professionals before making any investment decisions.


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