Source: Qatari sheikh keen on full United buyout


Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim remains committed to buying 100 percent of Manchester United, according to a source, while British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is considering an offer to purchase only a minority stake.

Ratcliffe, through his chemical company INEOS, has offered to buy a majority shareholding in the Premier League club but a change of approach is being considered after a process which has already lasted more than 10 months.

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United owners, the Glazer family, announced in November that they would look at “strategic alternatives” but multiple sources have told ESPN that there remain doubts about whether they intend to sell.

The Glazers need an injection of capital to fund the redevelopment of Old Trafford — which could cost anywhere between £800 million and £2 billion depending on which plan is chosen — and, alongside takeover offers from Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe, have also received offers of investment from a number of U.S. financial groups.

American based investment firm Carlyle, U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management, American investment group Ares Management Corporation and U.S. global investment firm Sixth Street are among the groups who have made offers to purchase a minority stake.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Jassim, who has pledged to clear the club’s debt and invest in the playing squad and infrastructure if his bid is successful, is only interested in buying United in its entirety.

The Qatari consortium, fronted by Sheikh Jassim, submitted their fifth and final bid worth around £5bn to Raine Group, the merchant bank working on the Glazers’ behalf, in June with a warning that they would not engage with the process any further.

They are yet to receive a formal response from the Glazers and sources have told ESPN there is a growing frustration at the lack of clarity regarding the situation.

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