The Glazer family have put Manchester United up for sale and are looking for ‘strategic alternatives’ for the club.
Financial advisors will assist with the process which will lead to a partial sale of the club or investments, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment.
After the announcement, United’s share price went up 12%. The club’s market capitalisation has already added almost $400 million.
The Raine Group helped Roman Abramovich handle the sale of Chelsea to the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium. They will be the club’s financial advisors during the process.
Malcolm Glazer took over Man Utd in 2005 after a £790m million bid, but the fans never warmed up to him and his family.
There were many protests against the Glazer family, and signs carrying Glazers out are a popular trend at United’s games.
Ahead of Man Utd’s Premier League tie against Liverpool earlier this season, supporters marched to Old Trafford to protest.
The Glazers have now decided to sell the club, and there are some prospective buyers despite the £6-7 billion asking price.
United are one of the most successful and historic sports clubs worldwide and would command a mammoth fee. Only a few people can afford the club, and we analyse them in this piece.
Five Billionaires that can buy Manchester United
Sir Jim Ratcliffe
The 70-year-old billionaire is a boyhood United fan and one of the few British men with the financial muscle to buy the club.
Ratcliffe is the wealthiest man in Britain and signalled interest in buying the club months ago. However, he retracted his interest weeks ago and claimed there was more value in France than in the Premier League. His company INEOS owns OGC Nice and other sports franchises.
Take his statements with a pinch of salt. When Chelsea was up for sale, he claimed he had no interest in the club but made a £4bn deadline-day bid for the club.
If he decides to buy the club, United would be Ratcliffe’s most expensive sports investment. His firm has invested in Formula 1 and cycling. Apart from Nice, they also own a Swiss club, Lausanne.
The Indian business tycoon tried to buy Liverpool before Fenway Sports Group did in 2010. Ambani and Subrata Roy reportedly indicated they would pay off Liverpool’s £237m debt in return for a 51% stake.
Ambani is the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd, a Fortune Global 500 company and India’s most valuable company. He is the wealthiest person in India and the elder brother of billionaire Anil Ambani.
With a net worth of $91.5bn, Ambani has the financial means to purchase United. It also represents an opportunity for the club to strengthen its already strong standing in India and Asia, where it has a massive fanbase.
The Space X and Tesla boss joked on Twitter that he would buy United some time ago. However, he is one of the few with the ambition and financial means to buy the club.
Musk is one of the wealthiest men in the world and a polarising figure. The 51-year-old later claimed he was not interested in buying any sports club. He said his tweet was part of a Twitter joke. But opportunity breeds interest.
Musk has admitted to being a United fan and might make an audacious move for the club.
He is a bold man with a penchant for improvement, and it would be interesting to see how he operated in the football space.
Dubai investors will likely be interested in buying United. They would have the opportunity to acquire one of football’s biggest brands while competing with Manchester City, owned by an Abu Dhabi investment group.
The English media has repeatedly linked Dubai with a possible move for United. They mentioned Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund as a buyer if the club is available.
The Investment Corporation of Dubai is a sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Dubai established in 2006. The Government uses it to invest funds on behalf of Dubai and manage its portfolio of investment companies.
As of 2022, ICD has assets worth at least $305bn while raking in revenue of around $62bn.
They are spreading their tentacles and investment everywhere, and United are a tasty asset.
Saudi Arabia’s PIF reportedly received an offer of a 30% stake in United before they purchased Newcastle. They cannot own more than two clubs within the league, but other Arab investors will have their eyes and ears on the situation.
Could we see more Arab investors in the Premier League? There is a big chance!
The Glazer family might pass on the club to another American family. An American consortium will surely be making a move for United.
Todd Boehly and Clearlake Consortium took over Chelsea from Roman Abramovich, while FSG has been successful with Liverpool.
American Stan Kroenke owns Arsenal. John Textor, Josh Harris and David Blitzer own Crystal Palace.
Many Premier League clubs already have American backing, including United. There is likely to be an American investor waiting in the wings to buy the club.
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