Manchester United take second shot at a listing in Singapore

 
Julian Harris
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MANCHESTER United’s proposed share listing in Singapore could be revived in a bid to raise up to £600m.

Members of the American Glazer family, who own the club, flew to the UK last week, attending two of United’s games as well as visiting the club’s London headquarters in Mayfair.

The Glazers are believed to value United at around £2bn. They hope to raise over half a billion pounds by selling 25 to 30 per cent of the club via an initial public offering (IPO) in the Far East, it is understood.

More benign market conditions could be tempting the Glazers towards a fresh attempt at an IPO, after a similar attempt was shelved last summer.

Yet the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST), an activist group of the team’s fans, said that the Glazers would have to offer better conditions to potential shareholders this time around.

If the club offers non-voting shares “then they should expect the same negative response from the market as last time,” MUST said, describing a £2bn valuation as “inflated”.

ADVISERS

CREDIT SUISSE
MORGAN STANLEY
JP MORGAN CHASE

CREDIT Suisse, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase have been hired to manage Manchester United’s initial public offering (IPO), which was originally expected to start in mid-September of last year.

If a fresh attempt at an IPO is launched in Singapore, the banks will have the task of achieving the maximum valuation for the club, whose worth varies wildly, depending on who you talk to.

The Glazer family are believed to value their coveted asset at around £2bn, despite the club’s valuation being close to £800m when the American’s completed their takeover just seven years ago in May 2005.

A group of potential bidders called the Red Knights valued the club at £1bn when they wanted to take over the club in 2010.

Some analysts believe the true figure is around £1.7bn.

The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, a fan group opposed to the Glazers’ ownership of the club, has said the most recent IPO was scrapped partly because of the owners’ high expectations for the fetching price of shares.

An IPO in the Far East is hoped to take advantage of the team’s vast popularity among the region’s football fans.

In the event of a listing in Singapore, it remains possible that more banks could be added to the advisory list.