The American firm Baron Capital has bought 24% of all the shares Manchester United have made available on the New York Stock Exchange and now own almost a quarter of the shares the Glazers released on the NYSE in 2012 which, unfortunately, only represents 2.5% of the club, meaning Malc and his cronies remain in full control of the club.
The Glazers released 10% of the club onto the stock market 18 months ago and Baron Capital’s share purchase is believed to be motivated by the prospect of United remaining an alluring long-term investment, particularly after the club’s announcement of a new deal with Nike, which will pour £600m into United’s coffers over the next decade.
Despite a dismal season on the pitch, the club’s brand remains strong and appealing from a business point of view and the shares closed at $15.84 on Monday, the highest they’ve been since November, an increase in price partly motivated by Baron Capital’s actions, which brought the American firm to own shares worth around £90m.
“Shares of Manchester United dropped… due to a delay in the signing of a new global merchandise deal with Nike and the team’s poor performance on the field.
“The Nike deal is still expected to be signed, but has been pushed out from this fiscal year. We remain positive on the company’s prospects going forward.”
Financial analyst Andy Green, better known as Andersred on Twitter and on his excellent blog, which focuses on all the financial aspects surrounding United and has always been a strong opponent of the Glazers’ takeover, has however categorically denied that this could be the start of a takeover bid by the American firm.
“This is absolutely not the start of any takeover. You could buy all the shares available on the stock market and you would still only have 10 per cent of the club and about 1.3 per cent of the votes,” said Green, who acts as advisor for the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust.
“I am sure they are looking at the investment opportunities and rumours of the new Nike deal. They have a reputation as a long-term investment company.”
No takeover on the horizon just yet, then.