The Sunday Times reported yesterday that the team is considering selling shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange in a move that could potentially raise £1.7bn.
Selling shares via a stock float will allow the Glazers to take money out of the club without selling the club or adding to the clubs debt. Proceeds could also be used to reduce or eliminate the clubs £490m debt.
Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of the Manchester United Supporters Trust, said selling shares “could be an opportunity for supporters to once again share in the ownership of their club”. However, Mr Drasdo said that MUST had three concerns:
“Firstly that this would have to be a full IPO signalling a clean exit for the Glazers. Secondly the valuation would have to be realistic – something closer to £1bn rather than the £1.5bn that the Glazers seem to feel is possible. Thirdly, shares should be available to all MUFC supporters and floated on the UK market to maximise accessibility. Many supporters would hate to see the Glazers walk away with a huge profit, but it isn’t about them. It is about what is best for Manchester United – the club and its supporters.”
Currently United spend about The club spends about £45 million a year on bond interest. If that debt was removed, that money could be further invested in the team.
What the Glazers are trying to do is a typical Wall Street move. They took the company(Man United) private in a leverage buyout using the club as the collateral on the money they borrowed. Now they want to sell a portion of the team to the public in a stock offering, in which they will make hundreds of millions of pounds profit on their purchase, while still retaining control of the club.
On the past the Glazers have been approached by a group from Qatar and the Red Knights about selling and now we know why. They believe that they will make more money taking Manchester United public than they would selling to another group
What do you think about the possibility of United going public again? Would you be in favor of it?