Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Jamie Jackson

Manchester United board to vote on Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid for 25% share

Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Old Trafford.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is awaiting the result of an offer to buy a 25% share in Manchester United. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Manchester United’s board is expected to vote on Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid to buy a 25% share in the club for about £1.3bn in the coming days, with sources close to the Ineos owner confident his offer will be accepted.

Ratcliffe’s offer values United at £5.2bn, while the whole club is actually valued at about $3.2bn (£2.63bn). It is thought that Ratcliffe, who is one of Britain’s richest people, may have offered a premium price for his potential holding in exchange to gain sporting control of the club. If so, this would throw the future of the team and United’s football operations into doubt. Erik ten Hag is the manager and John Murtough, the football director.

The six Glazer siblings are majority shareholders and are set to vote on Ratcliffe’s bid – if accepted, it would subsequently be formally ratified.

Ratcliffe is now the only publicly declared bidder after Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani informed the Glazers that he had withdrawn his 100% offer of more than £5bn for the club.

The decision came after further recent discussions in which the Glazers made clear their asking price – thought to be £6.4bn – and Sheikh Jassim pulled out due to what sources close to him described as “a fanciful and outlandish valuation”. He had also pledged a further $1.7bn to finance transfers, plans for a new stadium and training facilities, plus city and community regeneration projects and, separately, to clear the near £1bn club debt.

Ratcliffe closing in on a 25% stake comes 11 months after the Glazers began the process. On 22 November last year, they stated they were “commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives” in a move that signalled their proprietorship, which began in 2005, could end. The club said the process would consider a number of options “including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company”.

• This article was amended on 17 October 2023. Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s offer values Manchester United at £5.2bn, not £6.2bn as an earlier version said.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.