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SBD Global/August 17, 2012/Franchises

ManU Shares Slip In The Wake Of Van Persie Deal

ManU shares hit new low Thursday after hitting the NYSE Aug. 10.
ManU's £24M ($37.8M) four-year deal to sign Arsenal striker Robin van Persie "may have pleased the team’s fans," but the club’s shares "fell to their lowest price" since listing on the N.Y. Stock Exchange a week ago, according to Thompson & Makan of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Van Persie was England’s top scorer last season while playing for Arsenal, but some analysts "questioned whether United had overpaid." Van Persie has "a long record of injuries" and had one year left on his contract at Arsenal, after which ManU could have picked him up without paying a transfer fee. Football author and Financial Times columnist Simon Kuper said, “This is clearly not a businesslike purchase -- an injury-prone 29-year-old [when] forward players tend to peak around 24.” Meanwhile, ManU shares "traded below their $14 offer price" on Thursday, falling more than 5% to as low as $13.30 in early trading. The purchase of van Persie "represents a break from United’s tradition of buying younger players on whom they can recoup their investment if they decide to sell later on." Prominent ManU financial blogger Andy Green said, "It’s a gamble. I think it’s interesting that there’s no resale value and I think it shows the Glazers have been under-investing in players, and this is their response" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/16). In London, Matthew Sparkes reported that U.S. research business PrivCo said that ManU was suffering from the "Facebook effect," and that its stock would see a fall to its "true value" of $4.97, which would value the club as a whole at $800M (TELEGRAPH, 8/16).
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