SBD/June 13, 2012/Franchises

Manchester United Changing Course, Will Launch IPO In U.S. Instead Of Singapore

ManU changing plans for Asian IPO and preparing to list in the U.S.
EPL club Manchester United has “ditched its plans for an Asian listing and is preparing to list in the U.S.,” according to sources cited by Stanton & Lau of REUTERS. Because it is changing listing locations, the club is “expected to make changes to its bookrunning syndicate.” Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley initially were “mandated as bookrunners for the Singapore listing, but sources said that this line-up might change.” Sources added that N.Y.-based investment bank Jefferies “has also joined the deal.” A source added that ManU had “always planned to position itself as a global media business rather than a sports franchise, suggesting that a U.S. listing would make more sense.” Stanton & Lau note ManU Owner the Glazer family is known in the U.S. through its ownership of the Buccaneers, and U.S. investors also are “familiar with the dual-class share structure that was under discussion” for ManU’s Singapore listing. A U.S. listing could earn a “better valuation as a media business, since it has contracts for broadcasting rights as well as its own television channel.” However, it is “unlikely to achieve the original goal of putting shares in the hands of a wide base of United fans” (REUTERS, 6/13).
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