BlackRock makes $55m punt on Manchester United shares

INVESTMENT giant BlackRock yesterday bought eight per cent of the available shares in Manchester United football club, worth around $55m (£34.8m) at yesterday’s closing price.

A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission reveals the New York-based company has snapped up 3.3m shares in the Old Trafford-based business.

The football club completed its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange last August after abandoning previous attempts to float in Singapore and Hong Kong.

At that time investors were unimpressed with the offering, with the shares only reaching $14, below the $16-20 range the club’s bankers had been seeking.

Since then interest has increased, pushing the stock past $17 this week and causing Forbes Magazine to declare the club is worth over $3bn once debts are taken into account.

The share price rise will benefit the US-based Glazer family, who bought Manchester United amid fan protests in 2005 for £790m in a leveraged deal. They retain control through the ownership of Class B shares that have ten times the voting rights of publicly available stock.