Home » Manchester United sale edges closer with ‘Data Room’ now open

Manchester United sale edges closer with ‘Data Room’ now open

by David O'Neill

The potential sale of Manchester United Football Club moved a step closer today after a report emerged claiming that the Glazers had opened their books to interested parties.

The report comes from the reliable Simon Stone of BBC Sport, who relayed the information that United’s ‘data room’ was now open.

In practice, this means that organisations are not able to access the club’s company information and documents to as to shape the decisions of investors interested in a stake of full takeover.

Any interested party will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement and destroy any information they have taken.

The Raine Group, who are managing the Glazers’ search for new investment, will use this process to weed out any less-than-serious parties.

As such, the number of potential purchasers or investors will likely be greatly reduced over the next month.

Simon Stone also reports that Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe and US group Sixth Street are both showing a keen interest.

The former has always maintained that he would be interested in a full acquisition should ever be on the market, while the latter would likely be looking at a partial stake.

There are currently a swathe of other interested parties however, with groups from the Middle East, Asia, and other US investors mooted.

Over the next few weeks, the narrowing of that list ought to clear a pathway for a change in Man United’s ownership model.

Fans have suffered under the Glazer ownership for 17 years and the prospect of a United without their influence – which has seen to club fall well behind their rivals – has never been closer.

While it is possible that only a partial stake could be sold, thus leaving the Glazers in control of the club, the likelihood of a multibillion-pound full-takeover deal being turned down by the Tampa Bay family seems somewhat unlikely. Their greed and their unpopularity could end up being powerful motivators behind a full buyout.

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