The Manchester United soap opera continues as two potential buyers have now made offers for the club. Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe of the petrochemicals group Ineos have both confirmed their bids. Both candidates have emphasised their support for the club since childhood and have promised to end the club’s debts, which amount to 580 million euros, and to make massive investments.
The American speculative fund Elliott is also said to have made an offer, but they are not looking to take control of the club, rather they are looking to finance part of the offer or take a minority share package. The Glazers and the Raine bank must now decide whether to enter a second phase of negotiation or give one or more potential buyers access to financial information about the club.
The American business bank Raine had expected a price of between 6,000 and 7,000 million pounds for the sale, but this is considered excessive. Al Thani has only committed to an offer “in excess of 4,000 million pounds” and Jim Ratcliffe is looking for a more realistic maximum target of 6 billion. It is possible that if the offers are considered insufficient, the club will not change ownership.