Manchester United have apparently set yet another deadline for prospective new bids for the team, including Sheikh Jassim and Jim Ratcliffe. The BBC is reporting that the Premier League club is giving investors until Wednesday night to make their final offers. However, it remains to be seen just how strict this deadline will in fact be.
Qatari investor Sheikh Jassim and Ineos owner Jim Ratcliffe are the only two parties to publicly issue a bid. While there could be another potential investor, it appears as if the next United owner could be either Sheikh Jassim or Ratcliffe. Both groups have also held positive talks with the club’s current ownership.
Despite the positive discussions, the two separate investment sides have clearly not yet met the team’s valuation. Current owners, the Glazer family, have quoted potential new investors a price of between $6-$7.5 billion.
Both Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe met team United officials to discuss bids
ESPN is also reporting that Sheikh Jassim previously attended a 10-hour meeting with club officials last Thursday. Now, the news outlet claims that the Qatari banker will submit an improved offer ahead of the Wednesday deadline. The next round of bids are expected to be closer to the Glazer’s evaluation.
Ratcliffe recently visited United as well. The British billionaire met with team officials on Friday and even shook hands with manager Erik ten Hag. Ratcliffe attended his meeting surrounded by his team of financial experts.
Percentage of takeover just as important as actual money
Besides actually offering more money than their counterpart, the two sides are also negotiating ownership percentages. BBC claims that Ratcliffe’s consortium wants to purchase a 69% stake in the prestigious club. Sheikh Jassim, on the other hand, reportedly wants full 100% control of the team. However, this is something that can’t be immediately sanctioned.
Any potential investor wanting 100% ownership in United would have to go through individual shareholders. This process, as reported by the aforementioned British outlet, would apparently take months. New ownership would also have to go through the Singaporean stock exchange.
Ratcliffe also recently told the Wall Street Journal that he was not exactly prepared to enter a bidding war. “What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because then you regret it subsequently,” Ratcliffe said in the interview.
Nevertheless, new potential owners will have to at least come close to the Glazer family’s valuation. The Americans have been with United since initially having a small minority stake in the club in 2003. They quickly increased their percentage of ownership until completing a majority stake two years later.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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