Shares recover after Ferguson quits
News of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement caused an initial dip in Manchester United's share price on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, but by the close of trading it had bounced back.
From an opening price of 18.77 US dollars, the shares fell by as much as 4.5 per cent to under the 18-dollar mark and then revived significantly. The value of a share at the close of trading was 18.44 dollars, 33 cents down - a 1.76 per cent drop - and still higher than the share price on Friday last week.
United's overall market value fell from 3.09 billion dollars (£1.98 billion) to 3.04 billion dollars (£1.95 billion) - a fall of 50 million dollars (£32 million). The shares initially fell in New York amid fears over the impact that Ferguson's departure will have on the club.
The opening bell on Wall Street saw shares down by three per cent, driven lower by worries over whether the club can appoint the right replacement for the most successful manager in English football history.
His successor will be the key figure at a business laden with almost £370 million of debt and tightly controlled by its US majority owners, the Glazer family.
The club, which trades under the MANU ticker on Wall Street, announced his departure while US markets were closed, but shares slipped on opening as investors digested the impact of the 71-year-old's departure on one of sport's most successful franchises.
In the prospectus to its 2012 stock market flotation, Manchester United warned: "We are highly dependent on members of our management, coaching staff and our players. Any successor to our current manager may not be as successful as our current manager."
Shares in the club have surged 34 per cent since floating in August at 14 US dollars (£9) per share, closing on Tuesday evening at 18.77 US dollars (£12.11).
The flotation allowed the Glazer family to sell 16.7 million shares - equal to a 10 per cent stake.
The Glazers bought the Premier League football club for £790 million in 2005 in a controversial deal that enraged fans because they put in just £300 million of their own money and loaded the club with debt. The club's most recent annual results showed total revenues of £320.3 million for the year to the end of June 2012, down 3.3% on a year earlier.