- | 12:00 pm
Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim doubles down his bid for Manchester United
The Qatari banker is bidding for 100% control of the club to wipe the club’s $620 million debt.
The battle to buy Manchester United is on as Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani returned with a second bid for the English giants.
Rival bidder British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also expected to make a second offer. Other known bidders include Elliott Management, while Ares, MSD Partners, and Oaktree Capital are also said to be interested.
Interested parties had until 21:00 GMT on March 22 to state their offer to Raine, the merchant bank that will facilitate the sale of the club.
According to Agence France-Presse, a source close to Sheikh Jassim’s bid noted that he remains confident that his bid is “the best for the club, fans, and local community.”
The Glazer family, Manchester United’s owners, have set a world record $7.3 billion valuation for the club. The family bought the club for $970 million in 2005 in a highly leveraged deal that has been criticized for having added huge debts to the club. Last November, the Glazers seemed ready to cash out after inviting external investment.
Initial offers from the first round of bidding last month were reported to have been worth around $5.5 billion.
Sheikh Al Thani is bidding for 100% control of the club to wipe the club’s $620 million debt. He also plans to invest heavily in a new stadium and training ground and back the men’s and women’s teams on the pitch.
Meanwhile, Ratcliffe, a childhood United fan, has reportedly insisted that he will not pay a “stupid” price in a bidding war for one of football’s most iconic clubs. “How do you decide the price of a painting? How do you decide the price of a house? It’s not related to how much it cost to build or how much it cost to paint,” Ratcliffe told the Wall Street Journal. “What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because then you regret it subsequently.”
Ratcliffe wants the 69% stake owned by the Glazer family, commending the club as a “community asset”.