Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of the chemical business INEOS and the richest man in Britain, placed a proposal before a so-called “soft” deadline.
That followed when Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the head of the Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), disclosed that his Qatari group had offered to purchase the Premier League heavyweights.
Other bids were expected – and could still happen after the deadline – including investors from the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Qatar confirms Manchester United takeover bid
A consortium from Qatar headed by Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani has made a purchase offer for Manchester United.
According to a statement, “Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100% of Manchester United Football Club.”
“The offer seeks to put the supporters back in the center of Manchester United Football Club to restore the team to its former glory both on and off the field.”
“The bid will be totally debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training facility, the stadium, and wider infrastructure, the fan experience, and the communities the Club serves,” the Qatari statement stated.
“The bid envisions Manchester United Football Club becoming known for its superior footballing abilities and is considered the greatest football club in the world. Further information about the bid will be disclosed when appropriate and as the bid progresses.”
French outlet RMC Sport reports that the bid ‘could be around £4.5 billion.
Understand Qatari offer for a Manchester United is around £4.5bn. Takes into account debt the Glazers have kept on the books & likely costs of infrastructure upgrade. Clearer picture will emerge once they see in-depth financials. #mufc
— Mike Keegan (@MikeKeegan_DM) February 18, 2023
Sir Jim Ratcliffe makes an official bid for Man United
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a British businessman, has submitted a formal offer to purchase Manchester United.
Before the soft deadline of this evening at 10 p.m., Ratcliffe made an offer to the Glazer family, according to an exclusive report by Tom Morgan of The Telegraph.
‘He [Ratcliffe] has convinced the Raine Group overseeing the sale that he can be the ‘long-term custodian for the club,” Morgan said.
From an INEOS-related source, Morgan provided additional information about the bid:
“The long-term custodianship of Manchester United is Ratcliffe’s goal, along with setting the bar for a forward-thinking approach to club ownership. He desires to restore Manchester to Manchester United as a local son.”
Reports claim he will also offer a debt-free takeover, with any money borrowed to fund the deal being taken on by INEOS.
??| A source close to Ineos said: "His [Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s] aim is to be a long-term custodian of Manchester United and set the standard for a progressive approach to club ownership. As locally born, he wants to put the Manchester back into #mufc." [@TeleFootball]
— centredevils. (@centredevils) February 17, 2023
Any other expected bids?
There are also expected to be at least two offers for United from the United States, while there have been suggestions of interest from Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, a proposal from Saudi Arabia had been anticipated, and there were rumors of interest from Asia. Given their participation at rival Premier League club Newcastle United, insiders close to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) were reportedly downplaying the probability of a state-backed bid, according to The Telegraph.
However, with United’s shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), brokers acting for the club will be obliged to consider offers even after Friday’s ‘soft’ deadline expires.
What happens next?
After the deadline has passed, neither Manchester United nor the US-based Raine Group, tasked with finding new owners or investors, will likely issue an official statement.
The Glazer family will decide whether to move forward with a full sale. The Glazer family members seen most motivated to maintain some stake are co-chairmen Joel and Avi Glazer.
Although it had been anticipated that a transaction would be completed by the end of the season, the original goal had been to do it by the end of March.