Man Utd takeover: Glazers to whip up ‘competitive tension’ with ‘extra bidding stage very possible’

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd takeover

Ben Jacobs is reporting it is ‘very possible’ that there will be an ‘extra bidding stage’ after fresh offers are submitted for Man Utd on Wednesday.

Manchester United were put up for sale by the Glazer family back in November. At the time, it was suggested that they would “evaluate all options”.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim have since established themselves as the favourites to oust the Glazer family.

Representatives of the two parties visited Old Trafford last week to have a meeting with the club’s hierarchy. Sheikh Jassim was not present himself on Thursday, but Ratcliffe was there on Friday. 

This is before a second round of bids are submitted by interested parties on Wednesday. Ben Jacobs is reporting that ‘as many as six bids could go in’.

It is hoped that a takeover of Man Utd could be completed before the summer if a preferred bidder can be named in the coming weeks.

But Jacobs notes that an ‘extra bidding stage’ is ‘very possible’ as it would ‘create competitive tension’.

‘Wednesday is a big day for Manchester United. As many as six second bids could go in as part of what is being termed stage two of the process. The deadline for new offers is 9pm UK,’ Jacobs wrote for Caught Offside.

‘Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe are the two publicly-declared bidders and are both expected to place improved offers. It’s also important to point out that other groups, including minority investors, are still in the process.

‘If a standout offer emerges then the Raine Group – who are handling the sale on behalf of the Glazers – could name a preferred bidder and put them through to a period of exclusivity. However, sources say it’s “very possible” there will be an extra bidding stage to create “competitive tension”.

‘Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe were both left confident a full sale is possible following a day each of long meetings and presentations last week at Old Trafford. But who is put through next will really show the Glazers’ hand and whether they are truly intent on staying or leaving.’

Jacobs adds ‘there is an appreciation that it is going to take a record-sale price for a sports club’ for the takeover to proceed. It will likely be ‘at least £1bn more’ than the £3.8bn paid for The Denver Broncos last summer.

‘All the bidders’ are ‘prepared to go much higher than the club’s enterprise value’, which is around £3.75bn. It is noted that the price is this high ‘due to the buzz of the process’.

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