Man United takeover: Sheikh Jassim submits bid worth more than £5bn
Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe table latest bids for Man United… as the Qatari offers world-record £5bn with a promise to clear ALL debt and a ‘significant amount of additional capital’ – but it falls short of the £6bn the Glazers want
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani lodged a final bid of more than £5bn Manchester United on Friday night – with the promise of significant additional funding for transfers and infrastructure.
The offer, which landed in New York shortly before the 10pm deadline, included what would be a world record figure to buy the Premier League giants.
But in a significant and unprompted power play, it also pledged further amounts of additional capital and a sum that would be spent on either redeveloping Old Trafford or building a new stadium, along with transforming United’s training facility.
However, the bid from the Qatari remained well short of the £6bn that the club’s owners, the Glazer family, are thought to be seeking.
Sheikh Jassim wants 100 per cent of the club and his deal would buy out the Glazers and all other shareholders. The offer is improved from his previous bid, but he will not go anywhere near £6bn and is determined not to grossly overpay, according to those with knowledge of the process.
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has submitted a £5bn offer for Manchester United tonight
It is unknown whether the Glazer family – who are thought to want £6bn – will accept the offer
The Qatari bid, if accepted by the Glazers, would mark a world record for a sports franchise
Sheikh Jassim’s main rival for United is Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
The British billionaire is seeking a controlling stake of more than 50 per cent, but his offer includes an option that would allow two brothers from owners the Glazer family, Joel and Avram, to retain their 20 per cent stake. That is being viewed as a controversial move which would infuriate large sections of United’s fanbase, should it be successful.
A major bidding war including numerous parties appears to have failed to materialise after the Glazers put the club up for sale in November.
There are offers of investment in exchange for a partial stake from multiple groups including US financial giants Carlyle and Elliott.
Earlier this week, Raine Group – the New York merchant bank running the process – sought further information from those in the running.
Bidders were asked to clarify the source of their wealth and explain who would be the ultimate owner. Future financial plans were also requested.
The bid faces competition from British billionaire and lifelong Manchester United fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe (pictured), who has proposed a move that would keep the Glazer owners at the club
Several Manchester United supporters have protested against the Glazers in recent seasons
The moves are seen as pre-emptive, ahead of any Premier League tests. However, given the ownership of Newcastle United and Manchester City, it is unlikely Sheikh Jassim’s offer would face any issues over fears of state ownership.
Fans are planning a protest against the Glazers ahead of Sunday’s match with Aston Villa at Old Trafford, where they will call on the unpopular Americans to oversee a full sale of United rather than any other option.
Earlier this month, a sale of the NFL’s Washington Commanders was agreed for $6m – which equates to £4.77bn.