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SBD Global/July 31, 2014/Finance

Glazer Family To Raise More Than $150M By Selling 8 Million Manchester United Shares

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The Glazer family is selling about 5% of its holding in ManU, "taking advantage of the club’s rising share price" on the back of its £750M ($1.2B) kit supply deal with adidas, according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. ManU "will begin a roadshow next week" offering 8 million Class A shares, which at Wednesday’s closing share price of $19.31 would yield the family $154.5M. A further 1.2 million Class A shares "will be made available depending on demand." The 8 million share sale "will leave the Glazer family with about 83 per cent of the club in its hands." It will also "create more liquidity in the market, which could benefit the share price depending on the club’s progress on and off the pitch." Despite ManU’s "miserable" '13-14 season, which saw the club "slip to a lowly seventh place in the Premier League and thereby fail to qualify for the Champions League, shares have enjoyed a steady rise in recent months" (FT, 7/30). REUTERS' Keith Weir reported none of the proceeds "will go to the club itself, a fact that is likely to annoy some fans who have long campaigned against owners they accuse of burdening United with excess levels of debt following their takeover." The sale of the shares "would create a more liquid market for United stock" after a flotation on the N.Y. Stock Exchange two years ago. Optimism "has been fuelled" by the arrival of new Manager Louis van Gaal (REUTERS, 7/30). The AP's Rob Harris reported ManU "has disclosed to potential investors in the new share prospectus that failure to play in the Champions League for two or more consecutive seasons would see the annual adidas payments drop after the second year" by 30% to $89M. Conversely, the fee could rise by up to $7M each year "if the team wins the Premier League, Champions League or FA Cup" (AP, 7/30).
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