Manchester United aim to raise £500m in bond sale in bid to reduce mounting debt
Manchester United have confirmed they plan to raise £500 million in a bond sale as the Glazer family aim to restructure the club's punishing £699m debt.
Having bought United in a £790m takeover in May 2005, the Florida-based Glazer family have since seen the club’s debt rocket. In 2008, interest payments of £69m accounted for £72m of profit.
But with Sir Alex Ferguson’s first-team squad flying out to Qatar on Sunday for a warm-weather training break, the club has confirmed that moves are being made to raise £500m in bonds.
A United statement said: “Manchester United today announced that it will be seeking to raise approximately £500m aggregate principal amount from an offering of senior secured notes due 2017.
“The notes, whose proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt secured against the club, will be issued by MU Finance Plc.”
United manager Ferguson had insisted on Friday that the club’s debt was unrelated to his spending power and that he had substantial money to spend following last summer’s £80m sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid.
Ferguson said: "I have got all the money I need. The money is available and, if I wanted to buy someone, I could get the money.
"I could easily have spent the Ronaldo money but I didn't want to do it because I couldn't see any value in the market. Believe me there is no impact (on the transfer fund)."
The move to issue bonds is aimed to alleviate the Glazers’ Pik (payment in kind) loans which are carry a 14.25 per cent interest rate. The outstanding loan is understood to be approaching a figure of £200m.
Ferguson added on Friday that he believed the bond issue was a good move for the club’s financial situation.
He said: "I don't have any concerns about the financial situation. There is absolutely no issue at all with the club’s finances.
“There is debt there, but it has never interrupted my plans for the team at any stage.
“I have no issue at all. There has been talk about a bond issue and I think that's a good thing for the club. Anything that helps with the repayment of the debt is a good thing.”