Shares of Manchester United Plc (NYSE: MANU) surged in the premarket trading in New York following reports of Jim Ratcliffe’s impending acquisition of a stake at a significant premium.
Ratcliffe is reportedly close to sealing a deal with the Glazer family to buy a 25% stake in Manchester United Football Club at $33 per share, as per a Sky News report. This deal, after prolonged negotiations between the Ineos billionaire and the club’s controlling stakeholders for the past 18 years, is set at a price of around $ 33 a share.
This price would mark a substantial increase of over 75% compared to Thursday’s closing price on the New York Stock Exchange, which was $18.43, valuing the club at a market capitalization of $3.04 billion (£2.44 billion).
According to recent reports, Jim Ratcliffe and the Glazer family are nearing the completion of a deal, priced at $33 per share, which would result in the petrochemicals magnate acquiring a 25% share in @ManUtd Should this be verified, it would imply a premium exceeding 75%… pic.twitter.com/X3gHhDGeQN
— Share_Talk ™ (@Share_Talk) November 17, 2023
Sky News highlighted that Ratcliffe’s purchase would include a combination of publicly traded New York shares (‘A’ shares) and privately held shares by the Glazer family (‘B’ shares), the latter offering more voting rights.
The announcement of the deal is expected on Monday, with Ratcliffe aiming to finalize it before the American Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
In response to these developments, Manchester United’s shares in New York rose by $1.38 or 7.5%, trading at $19.81 each.
Recent boardroom changes hinted at a shift in the club’s management. The club announced on Wednesday that CEO Richard Arnold would be leaving after a 16-year tenure, having replaced Ed Woodward last year.
With Ratcliffe’s anticipated $1.5 billion deal for a minority stake, significant changes are expected at Old Trafford. Jean Claude Blanc, a former executive at Juventus, the Olympics, and Paris Saint Germain, is rumoured to be the new chief executive under Ratcliffe’s ownership.
A search for a new permanent CEO is underway, and until then, United’s general counsel Patrick Stewart will serve as interim chief executive. Arnold will provide transitional support until the end of December.
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