Manchester United Becomes First Sports Club In World With A $3B Valuation
ManU has become "the first sports team in the world" with a $3B valuation, according to Mike Ozanian of FORBES. Shares of the English football club, which were offered to the public last August at $14, "did poorly at first but have soared the past few days," closing at less than $17. The recent increase in its stock price has pushed up the club's enterprise value (equity plus debt) to $3.3B, the "highest value of any team in the world." The second most valuable sports team in the world is the NFL Dallas Cowboys, worth $2.1B (FORBES, 1/27). The MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS noted the valuation "means a huge increase in the overall wealth of the Glazer family," who has a controlling interest in the club, and billionaire investor George Soros -- the 22nd richest person in the world -- who bought a 7.5% stake in ManU. The club's commercial growth "appears to be driving the share price up, with the club announcing several new sponsorship deals since August" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 1/28). In London, John Drayton reported Man City is "poised to overtake London powerhouses Arsenal and Chelsea" to become the Premier League’s second-best club at making money. The EPL champion has surpassed the annual revenues of Tottenham and Liverpool by winning the title, and should move behind only neighbors ManU in the next two years "if they maintain similar success" (DAILY MAIL, 1/28).