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Ben Jacobs

Ben Jacobs

Nov 23
22 tweets

🚨 The Glazers preference is a full sale of Manchester United, as reported yesterday. Raine Group are not anticipating minority investment even though all options are being explored.

Told, much like with the Chelsea sale, suitors will follow quite a rigid process, although there is no hard deadline for offers. #CFC required this due to the urgency of their sale.
But elements of the Chelsea sale procedure will be replicated to ensure prospective suitors have a clear plan if successful. This is also because with all options explored, investors could yet end up working with the Glazers should a full buyer not be found or chosen.
#MUFC want groups shortlisted who can showcase a minimum of £4.5bn and have the ability to significantly invest on top. This is basically a number to ward off non-credible suitors.
But sources close to the Glazers say they believe #MUFC is worth three times the Chelsea sale (£2.3bn). Raine argue Chelsea was exceptional and unprecedented value due to circumstances. And Clearlake, #CFC's majority owner, call their purchase one at "a very interesting price".
Raine co-founder Joe Ravitch values #MUFC at £6.8bn, which is almost nine times the debt-funded £790m the Glazers paid in 2005. He places huge value on #MUFC's global fanbase and digital assets.
No comment yet on how a (at least majority) debt-funded acquisition might be looked upon. Under very different circumstances, it was frowned upon with #CFC sale when 'scoring' suitors.
Worth pointing out, the Forbes valuation for #MUFC is far lower. Earlier this year it was estimated at $4.6bn, which is almost £3.9bn based on today's weak pound (£3.65bn at the time).
Manchester United has been privately on the market for a while, especially after the European Super League failed. #MUFC were due a £1bn joining bonus. Since then, the pandemic, coupled with a weak pound, have created an even stronger desire to sell.
The Chelsea sale also triggered both the Glazers and FSG at Liverpool to find their own buyers after seeing not just what Clearlake-Boehly paid, but the appetite from other suitors to scramble quickly despite the record investment required.
There were five very credible consortiums who all made strong pitches to Raine to buy Chelsea plus a late ‘rogue’ bid (outside the process) from Jim Ratcliffe.
This is very much a process, much like FSG’s too, designed by Americans for Americans. But going public may attract new investors. #LFC have certainly had a flux of enquiries since their own statement.
This can be useful because part of what Raine may do is encourage investors to 'pair' together to make a viable consortium. There will be many, like Todd Boehly and Hansjorg Wyss at Chelsea, who don't want a majority stake but will gladly join a group.
Whereas with Liverpool, there are denials from many major investors from the Middle East (especially in the UAE and Bahrain), the same groups are currently coy on #MUFC. But it’s thought a US-based investor is more likely.
Ricketts family could be one group to watch despite a big backlash over their approach for Chelsea resulting in them pulling out. Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment are considering #LFC having partnered with Martin Broughton in a failed bid for #CFC. They got close, though.
Unclear yet if Broughton (a former Liverpool chair) will try also. HBSE have said many times, top Premier League clubs don’t come along often and they'd like one. They hold shares in Palace, but much like when they bid for #CFC, club wont create any issues if they are successful.
It’s harder for Ratcliffe despite his on-record desire to buy the club and being a lifelong #MUFC fan. He is not commenting for now despite usually fueling interest. The line is just a 'focus on Nice'. He said in October to FT that the Glazers told him the club was not for sale.
Reason why it’s tough for Ratcliffe is because he bypassed Raine with his late Chelsea bid and success for any suitor is not just about convincing Manchester United but having a strong relationship with those facilitating the sale. That's arguably just as important.
Raine were both "surprised and miffed" by how Ratcliffe handled Chelsea, missing deadlines to both express interest and bid before surprisingly making an offer outside the process and after Clearlake-Boehly had entered into a period of exclusivity.
Raine sources say they expect things to move relatively quickly by sale standards. Takeovers always take time so it certainly won’t be done at Chelsea-speed. But there is a confidence in multiple groups making competitive offers.
This is also down to both Liverpool and Manchester United now being publicly on the market at the same time. Both clubs could well be talking to (even competing for) the same suitors. And, a little like a transfer (in very basic terms), it could create a form of bidding war.
In other words, one club could affect the value of the other. It gives both a new yardstick along with the Chelsea price. Won't be a shortage of interest in either and there's a feeling among investment circles that both have interested parties already weeks into initial talks.
Ben Jacobs

Ben Jacobs

⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo | ✍️ FWA & NUJ member | 🦊 #LCFC fan
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