Manchester United’s stock price on the New York Stock Exchange is growing just days after the Glazer family announced its intention to sell the club.
The American Glazer family have spent 17 years at Old Trafford and while they enjoyed some success in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last few years as manager, the club has largely regressed under their stewardship and fans have regularly protested the owners.
The club is up for sale and that has had an impact on its stock price. Media reports suggest that price has jumped as much as 12% in the volatile modern markets.
Manchester United released a statement earlier this week confirming the Glazers are considering ‘all strategic alternatives’. The news was largely greeted with cheer by United supporters, who have struggled to take to the owners since the controversial 2005 takeover.
The statement reads: “Manchester United plc announces today that the Company’s Board of Directors is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club.
“The process is designed to enhance the club’s future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially.
“As part of this process, the Board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the Company.
“This will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment, and expansion of the club’s commercial operations on a global scale, each in the context of enhancing the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders.
Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer added: “The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers.
“As we seek to continue building on the Club’s history of success, the Board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives.
“We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the Club today and in the future.
“Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”
Shares of publicly traded Manchester United football club soared again earlier this week. The club announced it is ‘exploring strategic’ alternatives for its stock.
That essentially means they are looking for a sale, though there is no guarantee of a shotgun deal similar to what Todd Boehly achieved in acquiring Chelsea following the exit of Roman Abramovich.
Investors often get excited when news like this breaks, though there are few publicly traded sports teams for such entrepreneurs to make money off. American franchises like the New York Knicks and Atlanta Brave are two examples of sports teams publicly owned.
Man Utd first went on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012, starting at $14 a share. There have been modest losses ever since but this past week or so, the stock has been booming.
On Wednesday 23 November the stock price increased 25.84% to close at $18.80, climbing almost 44% in two days of trading.
There’s a lot going on at the moment in the world of football. Thankfully, Man Utd spared everyone a drawn out saga by mutually agreeing to terminate Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract after his tell-all interview with Piers Morgan.
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On Tuesday 22 November, stock did fall in light of the decision to give Ronaldo the boot, though the fact it has since recovered is promising news.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, commonly referred to as Britain’s richest man, is expected to make a bid for control of Man Utd, having previously expressed an interest.
Ratcliffe, a petrochemicals billionaire, also owns Nice in Ligue 1 and was part of the bidding process for Chelsea before Boehly came out on top.
A group of wealthy United fans known as the Red Knights have also been mooted as potential buyers. Including Keith Harris, Lord O’Neill and Sir Paul Marshall, the group was expected to make a £1.25bn for the club in 2010, but “inflated valuation aspirations” saw the deal break down.