Man Utd staff told takeover clarity nears
Manchester United staff have been assured there should be “clarity” on the club’s ownership situation before the end of the season despite concerns that the process has stalled, sources have told ESPN.
Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe have both made public their intention to buy United from the Glazer family.
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They are among the interested parties who are set for meetings with the club and Raine Group before the end of March as the process moves into its second stage.
Representatives of Ratcliffe, chairman and CEO of chemical company INEOS, and Sheikh Jassim, chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, have been invited for further talks despite valuing United at below the Glazer’s £6 billion ($7.2b) asking price.
It’s being viewed by sources close to the process as proof that a compromise valuation is possible and there remains hope that a broad agreement could be in place by the end of April and in time to let potential new owners to have an influence decisions during the summer transfer window.
Sources have told ESPN that Raine, the merchant bank handling the process, have indicated the Glazers are still willing to accept a takeover by prioritising offers to complete a full buy-out.
At least two U.S.-based equity funds have indicated they would be willing to purchase a minority share, but have been told by Raine that takeover bids will be considered first.
The Glazers have maintained that they are looking at “strategic alternatives” which could include a sale or investment and have not ruled out staying in charge of the club the bought with a leveraged takeover in 2005.
Sources have told ESPN that Joel Glazer and Avram Glazer are the two Glazer siblings most reluctant to sell United. Avram Glazer made a surprise visit to Wembley to watch Erik ten Hag’s team lift the Carabao Cup, the club’s first trophy in nearly six years, following a 2-0 win over Newcastle.