SBD/April 16, 2012/Franchises

Glazer Family Again Considering Taking Manchester United Public In Singapore

Between 25-30% of shares would be listed, valuing Man U at more than $3.17B
The Glazer family, the owners of EPL club Manchester United, has "revived plans to float the football club in Singapore," according to Ben Marlow of the LONDON TIMES. The plan to take the club "public has been reactivated by improving market conditions." Between 25-30% of the shares "would be listed, valuing the club" at more than $3.17B (all figures U.S.) Up to $949.83M "could be raised if the family decides to go ahead." The club initially planned to go public last June, but by December the idea had been "shelved amid concerns that choppy market conditions caused by the eurozone financial crisis had made big share offerings too risky." The Glazers’ team of investment banking advisers "believes a return of investor confidence has created a window of opportunity to list in Singapore before August." The supporters’ trust has said that it will "back the Glazers’ Singapore plan only if they open up the share offering to fans" (LONDON TIMES, 4/15). In London, James Ducker notes on the face of it, the IPO could "prove a watershed moment in United’s history." Sources have "insisted privately that the family’s motives stem from a strong desire to reduce dramatically United’s gross debt, which stood" at $695.04M for the year ended December 31, 2011. If that "rings true and the proceeds are used to clear most of the debt, drastically cutting their annual interest payments in the process, United, in theory, could be" about $79.16M a year "better off, the equivalent of two world-class signings or a third of the annual wage bill" (LONDON TIMES, 4/16).
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