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Volume 10 No. 22


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).

Turmoil "in financial markets has pushed the owners" of F1 to delay a $3B share offering in Singapore due later this month, according to sources cited by Pignal, Blitz & Grant of the FINANCIAL TIMES. A formal decision by F1’s owners, led by private equity firm CVC, “is expected early next week.” But a source said that “it is now ‘inconceivable under any scenario’ that the listing will happen by the end of June, as was originally planned.” A source said, “The markets are just awful. It is not happening in the next few weeks.” But a banker said that a “pre-marketing tour to gauge investor interest found ‘strong appetite’ for F1 shares.” An adviser said, “It’s all down to the macroeconomic environment at this point. Investors are comfortable with the F1 story” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/12).