Man Utd IPO kicks off, but share price relegated already

10 Aug 2012 | News - Comment now

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Man Utd IPO kicks off, but share price relegated already

Premier League runners up Manchester United have listed on the New York Stock Exchange, but at a much-reduced asking price due to a lack of interest.

The club had sought to value its shares between $16 and $20 each (£10.25 and £12.82), but has had to cut them to $14 (£8.98).

The floatation of 10 per cent of the club should raise about £150 million. The proceeds will be split, half going to the present owners, the Glazer family, and half being used to reduce the club’s debt.

The debt burden at the club is scheduled to decline from £423 million to £345 million.

Buyers of the stock will not receive a dividend and will have no voting rights.

The prospectus for the initial public offering (IPO) instead emphasised the club’s global support, claiming 659 million fans.

Commercial revenue at the club also increased to £103 million in 2011, up from £66 million in 2009.

The club has struggled to turn that money into profit, though. Its forecast profit for 2012 is £23 million, but that incorporates a £30 million tax credit. Excluding the credit, the club is loss making.

To become profitable, the club’s strategy is to draw more money from Asia via sponsorship and merchandise sales.

The Glazers, who will retain majority ownership of the club, had originally hoped to secure a listing in Singapore or Hong Kong, but failed to win sufficient backing.

The family acquired the club from its London listing in 2005, primarily using debt, for £790 million. Manchester United are now valued at just under £1.5 billion.

In contrast, the club’s local rivals Manchester City have received a cash bounty of £800 million from their new owners in Abu Dhabi. Despite the generosity, City only managed to pip United to the league title in the last second of the last game of the 2011-12 season.

Related topics: Initial public offering, Malcolm Glazer, Manchester United, New york stock exchange

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