Manchester United to float on New York Stock Exchange with $100m US IPO
MANCHESTER United plans to float on the New York Stock Exchange in an initial public offering that will see the Glazer family keep control of the most successful English football team of the modern era.
The club will be seeking to raise $100m in the IPO, Manchester United said in a filing with regulators on the eve of America's July 4 holiday. The figure in the initial IPO paperwork is typically a placeholder and there is speculation that the club will be seeking to raise up to $1bn.
The Glazer family, which acquired Manchester United in 2005 for £790m, scrapped earlier ambitions to float in Singapore because of the turmoil in global financial markets. Manchester United may seek to complete the IPO later this summer in New York, it was reported last night.
In its filing with regulators, the club told investors that it is "one of the most popular and successful sports teams in the world, playing one of the most popular spectator sports on earth."
The decision to opt for New York after Singapore is a blow to the City of London, which is reeling from the fall-out of the deepening libor scandal. US investment banks Jefferies and JPMorgan Chase are the club's chief advisers on the floatl, with Credit Suisse, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank also helping to underwrite it.
Manchester United had been listed on the London Stock Exchange before being acquired by the Glazer family seven years ago. The club warned potential investors that it will adopt a dual-class share structure, with B shares enjoying ten times the voting rights than A shares.
It is a structure that will allow the Glazer family, which also own the NFL team, Tamp Bay Bucaneers, to retain control of all key decisions at the club.
The proceeds of the sale will go towards repaying the club's debt, which stood at 423.2m pounds at the end of March. Profits at the club, meanwhile, climbed to £15.6m in the nine months to March 31 compared with 11.8m in the same period the year before.
The lucrative TV rights that have turned the Premier League into one of Britain's most successful exports helped drive the increase, with the club's broadcasting revenue rising to £117m last year compared with £98m pounds in 2009, according to the filing.
However, the club, which lost the Premier League to Manchester City in May, warrned that its supremacy in England faces a rising challenge from "wealthy team owners," with the "deep financial backing that are able to acquire top players and coaching staff." In light of that, the club said that it expect its wage bill to keep rising.