Manchester United’s owners are considering selling the Premier League club as part of a strategic review.
The club issued a statement late on Tuesday announcing the commencement of a process that will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club and a sale. The review will also include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including the redevelopment of its Old Trafford stadium and infrastructure.
The board, headed by owners the Glazer family, said the process is designed to enhance the club’s future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalise on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially.
A number of reports claim the Glazers could want anything from £5bn to as much as £9bn for a complete sale.
“The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers,” said executive co-chairmen and directors, Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer in a statement.
“As we seek to continue building on the club’s history of success, the board has authorised a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives. We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximises the significant growth opportunities available to the club today and in the future. Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”
The Glazer family acquired a controlling interest in Manchester United in 2005, after which the company was delisted from the stock exchange. The Glazers listed a minority stake in the company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012 but retained overwhelming control through a dual-class share structure which means they hold almost all voting rights.
Fans of Manchester United have long campaigned against the club’s American owners, who they accuse of a lack of investment and saddling the club with too much debt. Manchester United’s stock market valuation rose by as much as 17% after the news broke that the Glazers were willing to sell the club.
The Raine Group is acting as the club’s exclusive financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP is legal counsel to the company. Rothschild and Co is acting as exclusive financial advisor to the Glazer family shareholders.
The club added: “There can be no assurance that the review being undertaken will result in any transaction involving the company. Manchester United does not intend to make further announcements regarding the review unless and until the board has approved a specific transaction or other course of action requiring a formal announcement.”
In June 2022, United appointed Legends International and Populous to lead a team that will be tasked with creating a masterplan for the redevelopment of Old Trafford.
Earlier this year it was reported that Manchester United’s owners were considering the sale of future TV rights to help finance the redevelopment of Old Trafford. A report in The Times newspaper claimed the Glazer family are considering several investment routes to fund the estimated £200m needed to increase Old Trafford’s capacity and make improvements to the stadium and training ground.