Tuesday, May 28

Ratcliffe would pay more than US$1.5 billion for a 25% interest in Manchester United

Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of Ineos, will pay more than US$1.5 billion (RM7.1 billion) for a 25% interest in Manchester United Plc should his offer for the storied football team be approved by the Glazer family, which owns it, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Sunday.

The parameters of Ratcliffe’s offer, which were publicly disclosed here for the first time, imply that Manchester United is worth close to US$6.5 billion, net of its net debt of more than US$600 million, the source claimed.

That is marginally more expensive than a competing offer for 100% of the Premier League team from Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani. The stock market presently values Manchester United at US$3.3 billion.

The Glazer family has recently been advised by Sheikh Jassim that he will not be increasing his offer. Ratcliffe and the Glazers have not yet reached an agreement, and talks might go on at least until the end of the month, the person said.

The franchise was purchased by the Glazer family, who amassed wealth in the real estate, retail, and healthcare industries and also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for £790 million in 2005. The six direct descendants of American businessman Malcolm Glazer, who passed away in 2014, collectively hold 96% of the voting shares of Manchester United.

According to the source, the Ratcliffe deal structure would permit the Glazer family members and other shareholders to receive partial payouts.

If his bid is successful, Ratcliffe has promised to oversee recruiting and managing talent at Manchester United, according to the source. Over the years, the Glazers have come under fire from certain club supporters for how they handled this crucial component of Manchester United’s operations.

Due to the sensitivity of the situation, the source asked to remain anonymous. An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by Ratcliffe or Manchester United.

Ratcliffe, who owns a two-thirds ownership in the chemical company and launched Ineos in 1998, serves as its chairman and CEO. Ratcliffe’s net worth is estimated by Forbes to be $18.7 billion.

The British billionaire is experienced in the world of sports business. Ineos collaborates with partner club Racing Club Abidjan of Ivory Coast Ligue One and owns Swiss Super League team FC Lausanne-Sport in addition to French Ligue 1 club Nice. It is also responsible for the Grenadiers, one of the most successful cycling teams in the world.

Based on previous football transactions, The Glazers’ valuation projections have been extreme. A consortium of investors led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital purchased Chelsea Football Club last year for US$3.1 billion, valuing it at 5.7 times revenue from the previous fiscal year.

According to LSEG data, Ratcliffe’s valuation is greater than 11 times what Manchester United earned in the previous 12 months.

The Glazers were considering selling their stake, the club stated in November 2022.

According to market research company Kantar, Manchester United, a record 20-time English champion, has more than 650 million supporters globally. They have been demanding a change in ownership in great numbers.

This is due to the Glazers having presided over a substantial decline in the team’s fortunes, with the club having won only one of its previous 20 titles in the top division.

Under Erik ten Hag, Manchester United won the League Cup this season, but the magnitude of the turnaround needed is shown by the fact that they finished third in the league, 14 points behind local rivals and treble winners Manchester City.

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