Man Utd ‘expect up to EIGHT bids’ before Wednesday’s deadline
MANCHESTER UNITED are reportedly expecting up to EIGHT bids before Wednesday’s deadline as the race hots up to take over at Old Trafford.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani have publicly made their interest clear.
But Sky Sports are now reporting that as many as six other parties could enter the bidding process in the next 48 hours.
It comes as buyers prepare to submit their second bids.
Other potential bidders have remained under the radar, although US hedge fund Elliott Management also visited the club after making its initial proposal.
Elliott, however, are seeking to provide finances for a bidder, rather than take control of United themselves.
Now, though, the next stage of the contest will begin in earnest with the would-be new owners asked to make their “non-indicative” second bids.
These are more formal offers, expected to be higher than the initial valuations which were understood not to exceed £4.5billion.
With the Glazer family believing the club is worth £6bn, there is a considerable gap which is unlikely to be completely filled in the next stage.
But it does mean that the Glazers’ chosen intermediary, the US-based Raine Group, could be in a position to formally declare a “preferred bidder” by either Friday or the beginning of next week.
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That would open the way for full due diligence of the club, its finances and assets, to begin, a process that might take two weeks or more to be completed.
Even so, there remains a high degree of uncertainty, especially if none of the bidders comes within hailing distance of the Glazer sale price.
While Sheikh Jassim, a member of the Qatari royal family, is seeking a full takeover, Sir Jim’s Ineos group is aiming to buy out the Glazers’ 69 per cent controlling stake.
And it does mean there might be a third effective auction bidding stage with Raine conducting proceedings to attempt to ensure a final price closer to the Glazers’ preferred valuation.
Sir Jim has made it clear he will not be paying “stupid” money to buy Manchester United.
He said: “How do you decide the price of a painting? How do you decide the price of a house?
“It’s not related to how much it cost to build or how much it cost to paint.
“What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because then you regret it subsequently.”
Oldham-born Ratcliffe, a lifelong United fan, added: “Our interest would be purely in winning things.”
Source: The Sun
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