The Manchester United takeover process has reportedly been ‘revived’ as Sir Jim Ratcliffe is preparing to ‘rework his bid’ so ‘concerns are addressed’.
The Premier League giants have been up for sale since last November. Since then, there have been three official rounds of bidding, with INEOS’ Ratcliffe and Qatari’s Sheikh Jassim emerging as the leading candidates to oust the Glazer family.
The Glazer family stated last year that they would “evaluate all options” but it remains to be seen whether they will sanction a full sale.
It has consistently been reported over the past few months that members of the Glazer family have butted heads over a final decision. It is presumably not helping that the offers – worth around £5bn – from Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim are very contrasting proposals.
Ratcliffe is looking to become United’s new majority stakeholder but he is willing to keep the Glazer family on board with a reduced share, while Sheikh Jassim is only interested in a full proposal.
Bloomberg are now reporting that ‘Ratcliffe is restructuring his offer to buy Manchester United Plc, people with knowledge of the matter said, in an attempt to break the deadlock in the long-running takeover saga’. They add.
‘The British billionaire is working with his advisers to address concerns about the terms of his bid from minority investors in the English Premier League football club, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information.
‘Ratcliffe put forward a proposal earlier this year to acquire 69% of shares in Manchester United owned by the US Glazer family. That left little benefit for holders of the club’s remaining stock, including Lindsell Train, Ariel Investments LLC and Eminence Capital.
‘Bloomberg reported previously that a top-three shareholder in Manchester United sent a letter to the club’s board warning that independent directors could be at risk of being sued for recommending any bid that favours one set of shareholders over another.’
Ratcliffe may not be alone in making a new bid for Man Utd. Journalist Ben Jacobs recently explained why he thinks an improved offer from Sheikh Jassim “cannot be ruled out”.
“So I still don’t think that we can rule out another bid from, in particular, Skeikh Jassim, simply because we got told after the final bid deadline in April, even though that was only a soft deadline, that that would be the last offer,” Jacobs added.
“Then we got told after the fourth bid that that would be the last offer then we got told after the fifth bid that that would be the last offer. So you can never rule out another offer in this type of takeover because it’s public, it’s fluid, in many ways, the situation.
“And ultimately, if Sheikh Jassim in particular wants Manchester United, he may eventually have to pay what it takes, or certainly get closer to that £6bn number.”