Man United Linked With Singapore Stock Exchange Stake

By iSportconnect | April 16, 2012

Premier League giants Manchester United are planning to float a significant stake in the club on the Singapore Stock Exchange, according to the Sunday Times.

The newspaper reported that improved market conditions have led the Barclays Premier League champion’s owners, the Glazer family, to resume the plan after postponing it last year due to market volatility. The Glazers are reportedly seeking to raise up to £600 million by selling 25 to 30% of the club via an initial public offering (IPO) that would value it at up to £2 billion. A spokesman for Manchester United told Reuters: “We don’t comment on this sort of speculation.”

The latest news comes after United chief executive David Gill in October spoke of the “potential” offered by a partial flotation, adding that the club’s owners were waiting for the right time to set the ball rolling. The Florida-based Glazer family acquired United for £790 million in 2005 in an agreement that saw the club de-listed from the London Stock Exchange.

The takeover saddled United with a sizeable debt, which the club’s financial figures for the year ending June 2011 reported at £308.3 million. The flotation was viewed as a method to reduce this debt, which has been a continual source of anger to United fans, and Gill acknowledged that it was a method to further enhance the club’s financial standing.

“It’s a potential,” he had told the Sunday Telegraph. “I think the finances of the club are in robust health in terms of the bond interest against the EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) that we do have, so in that respect I am not concerned. But it was an opportunity, and is a potential opportunity, to strengthen them even further. If the proceeds were by and large used to pay down the bond debt then that would take some of the interest costs out.”