Manchester United’s protracted takeover process could be about to take a major turn with one the two bidders — Sir Jim Ratcliffe — set to pitch a new restructured deal.
As reported by Sky, INEOS is weighing up the possibility of trying to acquire a minority stake in United instead of the majority which would have seen the Glazers leave the club once and for all.
“Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the petrochemicals billionaire, is contemplating buying a minority stake in Manchester United Football Club rather than seeking full control, in an effort to end a nearly 10 months-long process to resolve the club’s future ownership.”
Sir Jim in as a minority investor
“Sky News has learnt Sir Jim’s Ineos Sports vehicle has proposed to the controlling Glazer family a deal that would see it acquiring chunks of both their shares and the stock publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in equal proportion.”
The report mentions that Sir Jim could seek a roughly 25% stake in the club and that he would have to pay £1.5 billion keeping in mind the Glazers’ minimum valuation of £6 billion.
The process will be a complicated one and could be a done via a process known as a “tender offer”. However, the majority of the voting rights (the class B shares) are expected to remain with the Americans.
Whether that will follow INEOS trying to acquire the club fully currently remains unclear. This latest ploy appears to be “an attempt to unblock the ongoing impasse over United’s future.”
If the proposal were to be agreed, it would most certainly result in the Glazers staying put and this news will serve as a huge blow for the United fanbase who want the American family gone due to their disastrous handling of the club.
United have struggled on the pitch due to the owners’ lack of funding while hamstringing the club for their own monetary benefits.
The Glazers had ordered the strategic review of the club last year which included the possibility of a complete sale.
Glazers could now stay on
The petrochemicals billionaire was one of the bidders from majority control with the other one being Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani.
He could subsequently buy them out after a period of three years. Sheikh Jassim’s offer also remains on the table but Avram and Joel have appeared the most reluctant to leave the club among all the Glazer siblings.
The strategic review announcement included the possibility of a minor stakeholder, whose funding would allow the club to invest in the improvement of the stadium and other facilities.
A lot of players are already in that particular race. Whether Sir Jim’s investment would be used in the same manner remains to be seen.