Man Utd takeover: Journalist reveals ‘big twist’ as bidder ‘proposes 20% deal’ to the Glazers

·3-min read
Man Utd bidder Ratcliffe Credit: Alamy
Man Utd bidder Ratcliffe Credit: Alamy

According to reports, Sir Jim Ratcliffe is willing to ‘propose a deal’ that would see Avram and Joel Glazer ‘remain stakeholders’ of Man Utd.

The Premier League giants have been up for sale since November last year. It was initially hoped that the takeover could be completed during the first quarter of 2023 but the process has dragged on.

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Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim have looked the most likely candidates to buy the club outright, but the Glazer family also have interest from potential minority investors.

There have been two rounds of bids for United and The Times are reporting that the ‘deadline for the third and final bids is 10pm on Friday’.

The report claims Ratcliffe’s ‘proposal involves buying a controlling stake of just more than 50 per cent for his petrochemicals firm INEOS, with about 20 per cent remaining in the possession of Avram and Joel, two of the six Glazer siblings’.

The remaining 30 per cent ‘will stay with various investment groups’ with Ratcliffe’s INEOS group ‘only wanting to invest in United if it takes a controlling stake’.

INEOS also intend to ‘offer the Glazers the chance to sell entirely or keep the 20 per cent stake’ by Friday evening’s deadline.

A separate report from journalist Ben Jacobs confirms this “big twist”. He thinks Ratcliffe is “ultimately being flexible” and is willing to adapt to “gain control”.

“A big twist in the #MUFC sale process. Sir Jim Ratcliffe is prepared to offer Joel and Avram Glazer a route to stay. Under such a structure, Ratcliffe would gain control and leave Joel and Avram with around 20%,” Jacobs tweeted.

READ MORE: The Glazers at Manchester United… A thorny relationship stretching back almost 20 years

“Understand this is one option and will rest on the Glazer’s preference. Ratcliffe is ultimately being flexible, as sources always indicated he would be, to try and get control. There could also be a laddered element over time, too.

“Whereas Sheikh Jassim’s bid is referred to as ‘all or nothing’, Ratcliffe is looking for control. If Joel and Avram genuinely want to stay this could be one way of getting it.

“Insiders believe Ratcliffe would not be favourite to win a straight head-to-head against Sheikh Jassim for the full 69%, with some referring to INEOS as a ‘stalking horse’ in that context. But a change in structure makes the two groups significantly different.”

It has consistently been reported over the past couple of months that the Glazer’s asking price is £6bn and Jacobs rightly points out that the “key” for Ratcliffe and Jassim is still to “hit the valuation”.

“There’s nothing in #MUFC sale process stopping Ratcliffe from tabling multiple options on Friday. Using his valuation, he could in theory state a willingness to either take all the Glazers shares or just a controlling stake depending on their preference,” Jacobs added.

“Choosing a clear and singular structure would be simpler, but if Ratcliffe just wants control in any shape he is not prevented from placing a final offer that puts forward different stakes. Still key, though, in all this is actually hitting the Glazer’s valuation.”

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