Manchester United buyout: Sir Jim Ratcliffe taps big bank to lure Qatari investors

Sir Jim Rat­cliffe stepped up his efforts to buy Man­ches­ter Unit­ed by hir­ing Gold­man Sachs and JP Mor­gan as advi­sors on the deal process.

The British bil­lion­aire revealed in Jan­u­ary his inten­tion to wrest con­trol of Old Traf­ford from the Glaz­er fam­i­ly, who announced the sale of the club in Novem­ber. Rat­cliffe was the first to show inter­est, but it was report­ed ear­li­er this week that he would face com­pe­ti­tion from a group of Qatari investors.

Abram Glaser and Joel Glaser are look­ing to sell Unit­ed to end an unpop­u­lar fam­i­ly busi­ness that has last­ed near­ly 18 years, with a for­mal bid on the hori­zon. Rat­cliffe, with the help of Gold­man Sachs and JP Mor­gan, will spare no effort to seize the initiative.

Accord­ing to Bloomberg, the two Wall Street firms will con­duct a fea­si­bil­i­ty study for Rat­cliffe to take con­trol of Red Dev­il. The INEOS CEO is dis­cussing debt financ­ing for the club’s acqui­si­tion, the busi­ness out­let claims.

Gold­man Sachs and JPMor­gan are also will­ing to back the deal with bonds and loans, the peo­ple said. The two banks could cov­er Unit­ed’s cur­rent debt of around €742 mil­lion and bring in more mon­ey, he said.

The Glaz­ers ini­tial­ly put a £6–8 bil­lion price tag on the red dev­il, but a fig­ure of €4.5–5 bil­lion seems more real­is­tic. The club is worth around £3bn on the New York Stock Exchange, so an offer of up to €5bn could allow a full takeover by an Amer­i­can fam­i­ly to go through.

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