Man Utd open ‘data room’ in major takeover development

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Manchester United appear to be getting closer to be sold after the club’s ‘data room’ was opened to investors. Those interested in a takeover bid can now view the club’s confidential financial information, a development that could mean the Glazers do not receive their £5billion valuation for their asset. 

United were first put on the market in November after the Glazer family announced that it was ‘commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives’ for the club. Options ranging from bringing ‘new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company’ were to be considered with interested parties invited to come forward. However, it is thought that a full sale is the most likely outcome. 

This week, British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe became the first party to publically confirm his interest via a statement released through his company Ineos. US investor Sixth Street is also said to be interested in a stake according to the Telegraph while bids from the Middle East and Asia are also expected. 

Now, the BBC reports that the United’s ‘data room’ has been open in a major development for the sale. It allows organisations to access United’s company information, including documents, so they know what shape it is in before they decide whether to make a bid. No deposit for the information is required but all parties must sign a non disclosure agreement to gain access. 

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The Glazers are believed to value the club at around £5bn but potential investors can now assess the club’s financial state before deciding whether or not to bid this amount. As a result, the true value may fall below that of the American family. 

The Raine Group are overseeing the sale of the club and hope by opening the ‘data room’ they can decide which of the interested parties are actually serious about claiming the keys to Old Trafford. The process is expected to be on going over the coming weeks before formal bids start next month with the club potentially changing hands before the end of the season.

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The deal to buy the north-west side is likely to be the most expensive deal in British sporting history, dwarfing the £4.25bn Todd Boehly and his Clearlake Capital Group spent to buy Chelsea last year. 

It remains to be seen who the next owners of United will be but today’s developments are a significant step forward for the Glazers as they look to sell up. 

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