Qatar’s Skeikh Jassim refuses to raise $6 billion Manchester United bid, sources say
Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani has made a bold move in the race to acquire Manchester United Plc, informing the Glazer family that he will not increase his bid of over $6 billion. This decision has left Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe, the remaining bidder, in a stronger position. While Ratcliffe has offered to purchase only a 25% stake in the club, it is believed that his bid values Manchester United higher than Sheikh Jassim’s offer.
The Glazer family, who currently controls the iconic soccer club, has been exploring options to cash out on their ownership. With Sheikh Jassim’s withdrawal from the bidding process, Ratcliffe’s chances of clinching an agreement have significantly improved. However, it remains to be seen whether a deal will be finalized.
Manchester United, with a current market valuation of $3.3 billion, has attracted interest from various potential buyers due to its rich history and global fan base of over 650 million. The Glazers, who acquired the club in 2005, have faced criticism from a significant number of fans who believe a change in ownership is necessary to revive the club’s fortunes.
While the Glazers’ valuation expectations have been ambitious, it is important to note that Manchester United holds immense potential as a brand and revenue generator. Last year, the acquisition of Chelsea Football Club was valued at 5.7 times its revenue for the previous financial year. Valuing Manchester United higher than Sheikh Jassim’s bid, for example, would imply a valuation of $7 billion, equivalent to 11 times the club’s revenue over the last 12 months.
Sheikh Jassim’s bid not only involved acquiring the club but also included a promise to invest over $1.7 billion in Manchester United. Furthermore, his bid would have helped reduce the club’s existing debt pile, which stands at over $600 million.
The Glazer family, known for their success in real estate, retail, and healthcare, also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their ownership of Manchester United has coincided with a decline in the club’s fortunes, with the team last winning the top-flight title in the 2012-2013 season under former manager Alex Ferguson. However, under the guidance of current manager Erik ten Hag, the club recently secured the League Cup, showcasing their potential for success.
As the bidding process continues, fans eagerly await news of a potential change in ownership that could bring renewed hope and success to Manchester United. The club’s rich history and loyal fan base make it an attractive investment opportunity for those who believe in its potential to reclaim its position as one of the world’s top football clubs.