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Manchester United ‘ditches Asia for US IPO‏‏

14 Jul

Manchester United has ditched its plans for an Asian listing and is preparing   to list in the US, according to reports.

Manchester United's English forward Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west EnglandManchester United claims to have 325m in Asia but just 34m fans in North America

After first eyeing a £1.7bn Hong Kong IPO, it had planned to float up to 30pc   of the club in Singapore in the second half of last year. With a 30pc stake   of the club valued at around £600m, the overall value of United would be in   the region of £2bn.
As a result of its change of listing location, Manchester United is expected   to make changes to its bookrunning syndicate. Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and   Morgan Stanley were originally mandated as  bookrunners for the Singapore   listing, but sources told Reuters said  that this line-up could change.
Jefferies has also joined the deal, the sources said.
The banks working on the deal and a Manchester United spokesperson did not   respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
One of the sources said Manchester United had always planned to position    itself as a global media business rather than a sports franchise,  suggesting   that a US listing would make more sense. shopping centres. Conversely, they are   extremely unpopular in the UK, which could have made a London listing   difficult.
US investors are also familiar with the dual-class share structure that  was   under discussion for Manchester United’s Singapore listing, having seen it   used by household names such as Google and Facebook.
 The Glazers are understood to have wanted to sell Class B shares with  limited   or no voting rights to maintain a level of control of 95pc to  100pc. That structure was said to be one reason why they opted  for Singapore in the   first place, as, unlike Hong Kong, the exchange  was happy to agree to the   format, and for the club’s Class A shares to be quoted but not traded.
However, the issuer is understood to have become frustrated with long delays   in approval from the  Singapore Exchange, even after it had indicated it   would have no  problems with a dual-class share issue.
A US listing might earn the company a better valuation as a media business,   since it has  contracts for broadcasting rights as well as its own television    channel. However, it is unlikely to achieve the original goal  of putting shares in the   hands of a wide base of United fans.
A source told Reuters that the original   aim of the Singapore listing was to  create “a pan-regional platform for   retail investors”. Singapore had seemed the ideal location, as it provided a way to reach retail    investors in one of its biggest fan bases, Indonesia.
When the  Singapore   listing was still under consideration, the importance of  Asia to the   company, with much of its growth coming from Asian  merchandise sales, had   been heavily emphasised during marketing to  investors.
The club claims to have 659m supporters worldwide, of which 325m are in Asia   Pacific and 55m in Indonesia. It counts just 34m fans in North America,   where soccer has yet to build a significant supporter base. Last year the club posted a record full-year operating profit of £110.9m to   June 30.
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One response to “Manchester United ‘ditches Asia for US IPO‏‏

  1. Clementina

    July 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm

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