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Friday, March 1, 2024

Ratcliffe’s $1.3B Injection Paves Way for New Manchester United Era

  • British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe will pay $1.3 billion for a 25% minority club stake.
  • The Glazer family is giving up control of soccer operations.
Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

After more than a year of uncertainty, Manchester United is finally bringing on new minority ownership that could drastically alter the Premier League club’s future on and off the pitch.

In November 2022, United announced intentions to explore a sale. Now, the club has formally unveiled a deal for British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe to acquire up to a 25% minority stake. Ratcliffe, who made his fortune largely through his chemicals company, Ineos, originally sought to buy majority control of the club, and he had fierce competition from Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Here are the key details in Ratcliffe’s deal:

  • Ratcliffe will pay $1.3 billion ($33 per share).
  • Old Trafford will receive an additional $300 million investment from Ratcliffe.
  • The deal values Manchester United at $5.4 billion.
  • Ratcliffe will take over control of soccer operations.
  • The Glazer family will retain majority club ownership and control of commercial operations.

As of close of business Tuesday, Manchester United’s stock price sat at $20.52, up 5.72% over the past five days, but down more than 11% over the past year.

Return to Elite Status?

The deal is still subject to Premier League regulatory approvals, which are not expected to present any major issues. It starts a new chapter for Manchester United, whose fans have grown increasingly vocal with their displeasure over the Glazers’ ownership, which began in 2005.

Ratcliffe will now look to return Manchester United to its formerly elite status. The club, which has won the Premier League a record 13 times, sat at eighth (out of 20) in the Premier League table heading into a Boxing Day match against Aston Villa and failed earlier this month to advance out of the UEFA Champions League group stage. 

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