A group of 5 emerge to buy Manchester United

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A group of five serious bidders have emerged to purchase Manchester United ahead of the deadline with Qatari bid set to face competition from Sir Jim Ratcliffe and American investors.

A group of five serious bidders have emerged as the battle to purchase Manchester United from the Glazers heads for the next stage.

According to Sportsmail earlier this week that a group of Qatari private investors are to launch an attempt at a full takeover of the Manchester club.

It can now be reported that they are likely to face opposition from four rivals, ahead of next Friday’s ‘soft deadline’ for offers, with some bids already made.

That group may eventually reduce, should some wish to join together to form consortiums – as was the case in the sale of Chelsea, which was also handled by US merchant bankers Raine.

Aside from Qatar, there is interest from the United States, while Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man and a lifelong United supporter, has announced his attention to bid.

The first stage of the process, which is soon to conclude, invited expressions of interest.

Those who signed confidentiality agreements were then given access to what is called the ‘data room’ – where details of United’s financials are stored.

It is understood that multiple parties from Saudi Arabia, which do not include the owners of Newcastle United, have been given such access. Whether they will now go on to make a formal offer is unclear.

The Glazer family reportedly wantthe sum £6bn for the club, although they have not gone public with a price. They are also open to two separate forms of investment.

The first is in the shape of a standalone injection of cash in return for a stake in the club.

The second is a more complex commercial partnership, in which expertise in such areas as media and retail would also be provided.

It is understood that these areas have attracted more than 20 parties. Such levels of interest strengthen the position of the Glazers, who could take a stake rather than oversee a full sale.

They – and bidders – however, would be well aware of a negative backlash from United’s supporters should anything other than a takeover take place.

It remains the case, according to those familiar with the process, that a takeover is the likeliest outcome.

As this newspaper reported, the Qataris – who are separate from the QSI group which owns Paris Saint Germain – are confident that theirs will be the strongest bid.

According to a Bloomberg report, Ratcliffe has lined up banks including Goldman Sachs to provide debt financing for a potential bid.


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