Manchester United is close to completing an IPO of shares in the club. The Glazer family hopes to raise $1bn by selling anywhere between 25-40% of the club to investors in Singapore and the rest of Asia. A successful sale at those percentages would value the Red Devils somewhere between 2.5 and 4 billion dollars.
The main details of the deal have been excellently covered in several places (Guardian and Bloomberg to start) so I won’t reinvent the wheel. I would like to note that the Glazers are attempting to sell shares into equity markets at their most volatile in a year and with many hanging near their 52-week lows. Asian markets (particularly Singapore) have been hit harder by the rout compared to European and American markets; the Kospi, Nikkei and Singapore Index have all dropped double digits since the beginning of August. The owners are betting that rabid Asian Manchester United fans can overcome a market environment where few want to take any risk.
Pushing ahead with the sale suggests there is a slight urgency to the financing, whether that urgency is driven by financial pressures on the club or on the Glazers is yet to be seen.
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