The Glazer family could sell Manchester United to another buyer as soon as 18 months after Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s investment into the club is confirmed – but only if the new party values the club at the same price or higher as Ratcliffe’s deal for a minority stake.
Ineos chairman Ratcliffe has formally submitted a tender to buy a 25 per cent stake in the Old Trafford club for $1.64bn (£1.3bn), valuing Manchester United at $33 (£26) a share.
Reporting from The Times reveals a number of clauses within the filing, with the Glazers unable to solicit offers in the 12 months after the deal is completed on 13 February.
Ratcliffe would be able to make the first offer if the Glazer family are open to a takeover, but the current majority owners would be able to accept a larger bid from another party once a year-and-a-half has elapsed.
The filing says: “For so long as the Glazer parties are the majority holder, following the date that is 18 months after the closing date and in connection with any sale of the entire company, the Company Board may require the Trawlers party [Ratcliffe’s company making the investement] to sell all of their company ordinary shares and take such other actions as are reasonably necessary to effect the full sale.”
However, the recent bidding process after the Glazer family suggested they were open to selling the club reveals that such a scenario is unlikely.
No bidder was willing to match the Glazers’ valuation of $35.05 (£27.64) a share, including Qatari Sheikh Jassim.
“If the sale occurs within three years of the closing of the offer, the Trawlers parties must receive at least $33 per share, which is the same price as the offer price,” the tender document adds.
It has also been revealed that the offer of Sheikh Jassim both fell short of the valuation and failed to provide sufficient proof of financing.
Referring to the Qatari consortium as “Bidder A”, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States states: “Bidder A’s proposal did not provide customary financing commitment letters.
“After discussion, the board of directors requested that the representatives of Manchester United continue to seek improved value for the shareholders and require Bidder A to provide sufficient evidence of its sources of financing that would be required to consummate such a transaction.”
Manchester United paid the Raine Group $31.5m (£24.84m) for their work in the bidding process.
The US banking firm were also involved in Todd Boehly’s purchase of Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.