Soros reveals new stake in Man United

Julian Harris
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BILLIONAIRE investor George Soros has splashed out on a 7.85 per cent passive stake in Manchester United, a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission revealed late last night.

Soros Fund Management bought over three million of the new class A shares, which were created for the club’s initial public offering (IPO) in New York on 9 August.

The shares hold only one tenth of the voting power of the majority class B shares, which are held by United’s Florida-based Glazer family owners.

Last week it emerged that Soros acquired 341,000 shares in Facebook over the previous quarter, building his stake at a time when the social network’s stock was battered by valuation concerns.

Soros is famed for betting against sterling on Black Wednesday in 1992, a move that earned him in excess of $1bn.

The news that he has piled into Manchester United’s stock came after the share price closed at $13.06 last night.

The price of the stock has fallen considerably since the launch of the club’s IPO, dropping from an initial $14 per share.

And the expected range for the float had been even higher, at between $16 and $20 per share.

Manchester United supporter groups have complained that the IPO was over-priced and prevents investors from having a say in the running of the club, as the Glazers hold onto the levers of power.

Groups such as the Manchester United Supporters Trust also complained that the Glazers pocketed a substantial amount of the revenue raised from the IPO, rather than using it all to help reduce the club’s large debts.