Glazer family’s protracted takeover process has not deterred two leading bidders. INEOS billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim remain confident they can acquire United, with both having already lodged offers valuing it at PS5bn.
Sheikh Jassim desires full control of the club while Ratcliffe would settle for a majority stake, according to football finance expert Kieran Maguire. Kieran Maguire predicts this could become an impediment in any deal negotiations.
1. The Glazers are still in the race
Although only those connected with Glazer family know of what’s going on with Manchester United’s takeover process, very few outside their own circle know much of its status. Though Finnish entrepreneur Thomas Zilliacus has publicly declared interest, at this point Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe appear to be taking charge. Both want a complete takeover and to secure the lucrative Premier League rights deal which expires in two years’ time.
Sheikh Jassim of Qatar is Qatar’s wealthiest person and has submitted several offers to purchase his favorite club since childhood: Manchester United FC. But UK’s richest person Sir Jim Ratcliffe of INEOS chemical giant has also shown great interest; making multiple bids himself to acquire it since childhood as well. American brothers Joel and Avram Glazer reportedly prefer his proposal because it allows them to maintain some shares at Old Trafford club while keeping some ownership within his proposal – though all parties involved appear unsatisfied about making decisions about future ownership over ownership since November when Glazer initiated an exploratory process “to explore strategic alternatives”. This saga continues with both parties involved initiating processes exploring options since November last year by initiating “process to explore strategic alternatives”.
2. Sheikh Jassim is a lifelong supporter
Sheikh Jassim is widely considered Britain’s wealthiest individual and has long been in contention to buy United. To back his bid he offered to pay off its debt accumulated since 2007 when Glazers took control.
His INEOS chemicals company is already one of the largest in the world, while he owns French side Nice and Swiss outfit Lausanne-Sport (although UEFA rules prevent multi-club ownership). According to reports originating from Nice, he flew in from Nice to meet with key members of the team and discuss his bid.
He is an ardent supporter, having graduated from Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served as an officer cadet with Credit Suisse investment bank. Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation is currently the only bidder publicly declaring their takeover plans; other groups may have submitted offers without public awareness; nonetheless he promises to return Manchester United back to its former glory both on and off the pitch.
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3. He wants to bring the glory days back
Sheikh Jassim first fell in love with United at 10 and has made no secret of his desire to restore them to their former glories if he takes control. Additionally, he has promised the club financial backing should this transpire.
Sheikh Jassim has indicated his intent to purchase all Glazer family shares outright and, according to reports, had positive discussions with United’s board during their visit to Old Trafford and Carrington training complex on Friday.
Raine Group, the investment banking firm facilitating the sale process, has set a soft deadline of 10pm Wednesday evening for formal expressions of interest to be submitted. Sheikh Jassim is among several bids submitted so far and it appears likely that Sir Jim Ratcliffe will face tough competition against Sheikh Jassim when bidding against each other – likely especially as Sheikh Jassim has Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund backing and has close ties to PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi as well as potentially considering taking over Arsenal.
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4. He wants to sign PSG’s Kylian Mbappe
Sheikh Jassim has made a bid for 100 per cent ownership of United. His offer promises to restore United to former glories on and off the pitch while placing fans back at the heart of its operation.
Sheikh Jassim might consider spending his money on one of the world’s top players like Mbappe who has been linked with Madrid but prefers staying put until his contract in Paris runs out before departing.
Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe may also find the player appealing, having made bids for various club players including Mbappe. Mbappe would help transform Sheikh Jassim’s United into title contenders again with 213 goals scored from only 261 appearances plus 98 assists – and knows exactly what to expect having worked under Qatar Sports Investments at PSG!