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Sheikh Jassim negotiating exclusivity for Manchester United purchase

by David O'Neill

The Manchester United sales process is reaching its conclusion, with the Raine Group thought to be negotiating with the Nine Two Foundation for exclusivity at present.

Exclusivity would put Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani firmly in the drivers seat in the race to purchase the club, with the Glazers unable to negotiate with other bidders, be they Sir Jim Ratcliffe or minority investment groups.

Should an exclusivity agreement be reached, it will cover a period of time during which Man United can only be sold to Sheikh Jassim’s foundation.

As reported by The Peoples Person recently, The Raine Group – the merchant bank handling the sale on behalf of the Glazer family – are looking to name a preferred bidder as the next step in the process.

And according to Reuters, Man United are negotiating over the terms of granting exclusivity to the Qatari camp, which would complete that step.

An agreement at this stage would be a huge leap towards the conclusion of the takeover saga, and an end to the Glazer family’s 18-year tenure.

For Manchester United fans across the globe, any sight of an end to what has been a gruelling seven-month process would be welcomed with open arms.

It is important to note that the situation remains fluid, since the two parties must agree on the terms of exclusivity before Sheikh Jassim can be considered officially as the ‘preferred bidder.’

But Reuters’ sources claim that “he Qatari offer is currently viewed by the Glazers more favourably than a bid from British billionaire [Sir] Jim Ratcliffe.”

All of this points to a victory in favour of the Nine Two Foundation, which is also reflected in Manchester United’s share price which hit highs of $26.64 shortly before the story broke.

While there is a note of caution from some journalists, with Ben Jacobs maintaining that neither bidder is likely to be granted exclusivity as part of the process, the reliability of Reuters as an outlet for financial news is hard to deny.

It very much looks as though the Qatari bid will indeed win out.

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