Glazer family planning U.S. IPO for Manchester United
English soccer club Manchester United Ltd. plans to raise up to $333 million in a U.S. initial public offering, Bloomberg reported. The company scrapped earlier plans for a Singapore IPO worth as much as $1 billion.
Reuters reported that the club and the Glazer family, who own the company, will each be selling half the IPO shares. The club's proceeds from the IPO will be used to reduce its dept of 423 million pounds as of March 31 to 345.4 million pounds.
The Bloomberg report also noted General Motors Co. signed a seven-year deal to put its Chevrolet brand on the team's jerseys starting in 2014. GM has fired its marketing chief, Joel Ewanick, apparently because he "failed to make clear some details of the Manchester United contract to the senior management team," the article said.
The Glazer family, who are based in the U.S. and also own the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, acquired United in 2005 for 790 million pounds. The Glazers have full ownership of United; their Class B shares are entitled to 10 votes apiece. The Class A shares being sold in the IPO get one vote each. A 10% stake of the company is being sold in the IPO, the Bloomberg report noted.
Reuters reported that a group of Manchester United fans have accused the Glazers of milking the team for cash after IPO terms revealed that the family planned to take half of the proceeds.
Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of Manchester United Supporters Trust, told Reuters, "The Glazers have already cost United more than 550 million pounds in debt related fees and not another slap in the face as they help themselves to half of the proposed IPO proceeds. Clearly this has nothing to do with benefits for Manchester United and is all about giving the Glazers quick access to desperately needed cash at the expense of our football club." (Sources: Bloomberg, July 31, 2012; Reuters, July 31, 2012.)
Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2012 • Permalink