Manchester United’s share prices tanked after reports of its owners deciding to take the club off the market.
The Glazer family, who have been the Red Devils’ majority owners since 2005, put the club up for sale in November 2022. Several parties expressed an interest in buying England’s most successful side, with British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani the frontrunners.
However, the American owners reportedly rejected offers of around £5billion. And it emerged last week that they have shelved plans to sell United until they receive an offer closer to their £10bn valuation.
That has seen Manchester United PLC shares plunge by as much as 21% – the biggest fall in its 11 years as a public company, and almost 30% less than its 12-month high in February.
READ MORE: Glazers refuse to back down on Man Utd asking price – and won't sell for less
According to Bloomberg, the fall cut Manchester United’s market cap by about $700million (£556.5m) to around £3.2bn on Tuesday. That is around half of what the Glazers have been seeking in their takeover talks.
It was claimed by the Daily Mail that the Glazers will wait until 2025 before testing the waters again in the hopes more suitors will be attracted and a bidding war will ensue.
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Both Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim went through multiple rounds of bidding and were kept largely in the dark throughout the process, which was handled by global merchant bank the Raine Group.
It seemed last month that the Sheikh had come out on top with his £6bn offer to completely buy out the Glazers and clear United's debts, which are believed to be in the region of £535million.
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But more weeks of radio silence followed to further frustrate fans. The latest update will come as a huge blow to the United faithful after countless protests against their current owners over the years, including a sit-in at Old Trafford following their 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest.
The Glazers bought the then debt-free club for £790m in 2005 in a highly-leveraged deal. Since then they've pocketed an estimated £1.1billion.
They hope "financial and environmental" factors may attract more bidders in two years' time and reckon they could end up getting anywhere between £7bn and £10bn as a result of sitting tight.
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