- INEOS, led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has submitted a new bid to acquire Manchester United after being granted an extension to submit a revised bid alongside Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim. Despite missing the 9pm deadline on Wednesday.
While the other proposed investors have already made their submissions by the given time, Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim are the only bidders who have publicly declared their interest. The deadline extension has created confusion, and the new deadline is yet to be confirmed.
It has also come to light that US investment company, Elliott, has made an offer to buy a minority stake in Manchester United, regardless of who acquires the ownership of the club. While the details of the revised bids submitted by the potential buyers remain unknown, the interest shown by multiple parties highlights the magnitude of Manchester United’s global appeal and potential as an investment opportunity.
THE GLAZER FAMILY
According to reports The Glazer family has not disclosed their asking price for Manchester United, and they have kept even the senior stakeholders unaware of it. Raine received up to eight bids on Wednesday night, but not all of them were for the outright purchase of the club. The Qataris believe that their offer for the club, fans, and community will be the most compelling, although Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are considered the leading contenders.
However, there is currently no clear favourite, as the highest first-round bids have valued the club at around £4.5bn, which falls short of the Glazer family’s widely reported £6bn asking price. The uncertainty surrounding the valuation of the club continues to keep the fans and investors on their toes, as they wait to see who will ultimately acquire ownership of one of the world’s most successful football clubs.
Recently, Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus revealed that he submitted a bid to acquire 50% of Manchester United, while the remaining half would be purchased by the fans. Zilliacus, who is the founder and chairman of social media company novaM Group, submitted the bid through his holding company, XXI Century Capital.
In his statement, Zilliacus emphasized the importance of fan ownership and said that billionaire sheikhs and oligarchs taking over clubs and using them as personal playgrounds is not a healthy trend. The current market value of Manchester United is reportedly just under $3.9bn, and Zilliacus believes that every fan could own a part of the club for less than $6. His proposal offers equality with the fans, with his group financing half of the required sum to acquire the club, while the fans would contribute the remaining half.
Investors who participate in Zilliacus’ bid will receive access to a specially-designed app that enables them to vote on football-related matters related to the club, regardless of their location. In exchange for their investment, the app will provide a platform for fans to actively participate in the decision-making process and have a direct role in the club’s management. Zilliacus’ bid presents a unique and democratic approach to ownership that has the potential to revolutionize the way football clubs are owned and run in the future.
Sources also revealed that Manchester United officials held a series of high-level meetings with eight potential investors over a 10-day period, including representatives of Sheikh Jassim and Jim Ratcliffe. The details of their initial bids have not been disclosed, but reports suggest that they are in the range of £4.5bn, significantly lower than the Glazers’ valuation of £5-6bn for the club.