The British Times published news that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani – who is looking to buy Manchester United – made a final offer to acquire this English club.
The newspaper stated that while the bidders were invited to submit their final offers to New York bankers overseeing the sale last month, Sheikh Jassim made an improved final offer – yesterday, Tuesday – in an attempt to beat his main competitor, British petrochemical billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
And at the end of last week – the newspaper says – Ratcliffe and his team at Ineos emerged as preferred candidates to buy the club from the Glazers family, in a deal that valued the club at a higher value than Sheikh Jassim, while giving Joel and Avram Glazer the opportunity to keep a 20% stake.
The Times reported that Sheikh Jassim’s new offer does not yet live up to the level of Ratcliffe’s assessment, which could amount to about 6 billion pounds (about 7 billion euros) if he then completes the full purchase of the club for the next two or four years.
But Sheikh Jassim is offering to buy 100% of the club now, albeit at a price closer to 5 billion pounds (about 6 billion euros) and insiders insist that Sheikh Jassim’s offer represents a significant increase compared to the opening offer.
As the newspaper reported last week, it is clear that Ratcliffe has approached An important step in securing the acquisition of “United” from the Glazer family and their bankers, the Raine Group, who are ready to discuss the details of the sale in a deal that, if completed, would represent a world record.
Realizing that they did not bid enough with the third and final round of bidding last month, Sheikh Jassim is now clearly hoping he can regain the lead in what was described yesterday as the final bid.
And the Times indicated that, in the end, it was up to two of the six Glazer brothers – currently the club’s chief executives – to decide whether they wanted to keep a stake in “Old Trafford”, referring to the team through the name of its stadium.
And she added that Ratcliffe and Eneos initially expressed their desire to buy the 69% stake owned by the Glazer family. But it became increasingly clear that Joel and Avram were more reluctant to sell than their siblings.
The newspaper concluded that the deal appears to be complicated by the split between B shares, which have strong voting rights, and A shares on the New York Stock Exchange. It is likely that further talks will be required to discuss the specific terms at length, which could take several weeks.