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SBD Global/June 14, 2012/Finance

ManU Drops From Singapore IPO, Looking To U.S. Listing

Sources "with knowledge of the deal" reported ManU has "ditched its plans for an Asian listing and is preparing to list in the U.S.," according to Stanton & Lau of REUTERS. After "first eyeing" a Hong Kong initial public offering, it had planned to float shares in Singapore in the second half of last year. As a result of changing its listing location, ManU is "expected to make changes to its bookrunning syndicate." Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley were originally mandated as bookrunners for the Singapore listing, but sources said that this line-up might change. The sources added that global securities and investment banking group Jefferies has also joined the deal. The banks on the deal and a ManU spokesperson declined to comment. One of the sources said 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" (REUTERS, 6/13). The FINANCIAL TIMES' Makan & Thompson wrote that ManU is aiming to shift from Singapore to the U.S. "in a potential blow to Asian capital markets" that has suffered several listings pulled in recent weeks. Two bankers close to the deal said that underwriters had warned U.S.-based Glazer family that it "would not be wise to proceed with a listing in Asia, given market volatility." Both bankers cautioned that the club "had not come to a final decision on where to list." A U.S. listing would give the Glazers "greater operational involvement in an IPO," however, a shift from Singapore would "deprive the owners of the opportunity fully to exploit the brand in the rapidly growing Asian football market" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/13).
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