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SBD Global/August 22, 2012/Finance
Billionaire George Soros Takes 7.85% Stake In Manchester United
Published August 22, 2012
HOUSE MONEY: REUTERS' Quentin Webb opined that history is littered with rich men "making trophy investments in sports." To Soros, whom Forbes reckons is worth about $20B, "this stake is peanuts." He "can do what he wishes" after cashing out the outside investors in his funds last year. However, he seems "too canny an investor to put his money in a loss-making plaything." More likely his fund, which Reuters data shows "has disclosed stakes in Wal-Mart, PepsiCo, General Electric, and more than 160 other companies," saw an opportunity to build a significant stake in an unusual business. Few sports clubs could claim to match ManU's global standing and "Midas touch with commercial partners." And none of the those clubs are listed (REUTERS, 8/21). In London, Jones & Massoudi reported that the move makes Soros "one of the club's biggest backers behind the Glazer family, who decided to float a portion of the club in N.Y. this month" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/21). The BBC reported that the 82-year-old investor has in the past "eyed other football clubs as lucrative investments." He considered a takeover of Italian club AS Roma in '08 but decided against it "due to the club's debt problems" (BBC, 8/21).