The Glazers are ready to sell Manchester United and will listen to offers in excess of £5billion, it has emerged.
According to the report by Dailymail, the Glazers through the club, confirmed the sensational news that the world’s biggest football club is effectively for sale in a statement issued at 9.30pm on Tuesday night.
The Raine Group and Rothschild and Co have been appointed as exclusive financial advisors to oversee the process. United said it is designed to enhance future growth, but added that the club ‘will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions’.
A statement from co-chairmen Avram and Joel Glazer read: ‘The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1bn fans and followers.
As we seek to continue building on the club’s history of success, the board has authorised a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives.
‘We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the club today and in the future.’
The hated American owners have been in power at Old Trafford since 2005. However, they have come under pressure from fan groups for some time to end their 17-year reign which has been criticised from the outset over the leveraged £790million purchase which heaped huge debt on United.
It’s thought that an offer in excess of £5bn – and possibly as high as £9bn – would persuade them to sell up.
The news will inevitably spark interest from around the globe as well as in the UK. Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man and a lifelong United fan, has long been linked with a bid for the club.
After the INEOS billionaire failed with a late bid for Chelsea in May, a spokesman for Ratcliffe confirmed: ‘If the club (United) is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer.’
Chelsea were bought by American businessman Todd Boehly for £4.25bn, and earlier this month it was revealed that Liverpool’s US owners Fenway Sports Group are open to selling the Anfield club after appointing Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to oversee new investment with the potential for a takeover.
Industry insiders were last night speculating that the figures on offer to the Premier League’s foreign owners combined with the grim economic forecast in the UK is tempting them to sell.
There is also the issue of the failed European Super League which scuppered the hopes of English football’s biggest clubs to set up a lucrative closed shop last year. It is perhaps no surprise that FSG and the Glazers are looking to cash in 13 months after it collapsed.
News that the Glazers family may finally sell up will be widely welcomed by the vast majority of the club’s fans and the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust who have campaigned relentlessly to drive them out.
Full Statement By Glazers Family:
Manchester United announces process to explore strategic alternatives to enhance the club’s growth.
Manchester United plc (NYSE:MANU), one of the most successful and historic sports clubs in the world, announces today that the Company’s Board of Directors (the ‘Board’) is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club.
The process is designed to enhance the club’s future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially.
As part of this process, the Board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the Company. This will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment, and expansion of the club’s commercial operations on a global scale, each in the context of enhancing the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders.
Executive Co-Chairmen and Directors, Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said ‘The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers. As we seek to continue building on the Club’s history of success, the Board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives. We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the Club today and in the future. Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.’
The Raine Group is acting as the Company’s exclusive financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP is legal counsel to the Company.
Rothschild and Co. is acting as exclusive financial advisor to the Glazer family shareholders.
There can be no assurance that the review being undertaken will result in any transaction involving the Company. Manchester United does not intend to make further announcements regarding the review unless and until the Board has approved a specific transaction or other course of action requiring a formal announcement.