British billionaire and INEOS founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe is reportedly closing in on a deal to purchase Manchester United football club.
A couple weeks ago, Ratcliffe emerged as the preferred bidder, and now, according to The Times, the current owners of the club, the Glazer family, are ready to sit down and discuss the details.
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Under the new arrangement, if it goes through, the Glazers would retain a 20% share of ownership in the club. The report goes on to say that Ratcliffe would be expected to then purchase the portions of the club still owned by Avram and Joel Glazer over the course of the next two to four years.
The final bid could come in as high as £6 billion, which would be a new world record for a sports franchise. The current record is held by the Denver Broncos of the NFL, but it is expected to soon be surpassed by the Washington Commanders, another National Football League club.
No decision is expected to be made this weekend, and this already protracted bidding process is expected to continue, as everything here is being handled by Raine Group, a New York City based investment banking and capital management firm. This whole process has been like an episode of the HBO serial “Succession” in that the plot keeps twisting and turning.
And that brings us to Sheikh Jassim, who was once the previous front-runner in this MUFC Takeover derby. According to the latest reports, the Qatari-led consortium still remains confident that they’ll ultimately win the bidding war. They’ll have to launch another bid, and soon, in order to do so.
Their last bid was understood to be at an amount that came in under £5 billion. We’ll have more on the latest developments, from their perspective, later tonight. In the words of Eminem, “let’s get down to business, I ain’t got no time to play around what is this.”
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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