• Manchester United Message Board

you are viewing a single comment's thread.

view the rest of the posts
  • jim w jim w Mar 25, 2011 22:31 Flag

    Debt and the Glazers

    Hi Levy.
    Taking your points in turn
    The bond is a fixed 7 year structure with a known coupon. Libor rates could and probably will over this period increase a lot to counter inflation. Its always easier to run a business against 'known' criteria, and this is a fairly normal business structure.
    I don't know where the financing came from to pay off the PIK loans. However with them removed and the restrictions of the further debt built into the Bond structure, it looks a lot more stable.
    Why should we care where the PIK money came from?
    I think there was an inherent instability in the old PLC structure for the very reason you identify. It doesn't matter how 'supportive' shareholders are, given the level of investment, they will want a decent return on their money. As they were never certain of the level of dividends under the old structure they increasingly looked at United as a 'growth' stock, one to cash in at a profit. This led to the sale to the Glazers. If the dividend payment was more certain, and here we are talking about at least 6% for the sort of risky investment a football club represents, you can do the sums, as the value increases and new shareholders come on board the 'cost' of the dividend payment would at least equal the Bond coupon. It is extremely unlikely anyone investing the sort of money involved with being a core shareholder in United would contemplate not having some certainty in the level of dividends.
    I don't see anything particularly 'fishy' about any of this, at least not more than any other complex business structure once you start looking closely at it. If you want 'fishy' look at the Virgin structure.
    Until the revolution we are stuck with this sort of thing, Glazers or no Glazers.