Glazers Try New York IPO

Manchester United’s owners are trying to float the British soccer club on the New York Stock Exchange in a bid to raise $100 million.

The U.S.-based Glazer family filed a prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission July 3, although the Financial Times says the club hasn’t revealed how many shares it would offer or at what price.

Although the “place-holder value” could be increased, it’s still a long way short of the $1 billion the Glazers tried to raise on the Singapore exchange a year ago.

On that occasion, the IPO’s underwriters led by Morgan Stanley warned the Glazers the market was too volatile for them to try to make the club public with an overall value of $2.65 billion.

The New York offer is believed to be new shares, and any money raised would likely be used to reduce the club’s debt.
In 2005 the Glazers used borrowed money to buy the Manchester club for £790 million. Current debt stands at $660 million and servicing it currently costs $48 million per year.

Although the plans could potentially allow thousands of disgruntled Manchester United fans to buy into the club and attempt to overturn contentious decisions by the owners, the Glazers will create a dual-class share structure that will give the family’s shares 10 times the voting power of those being offered in New York.