Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, the former prime minister of Qatar, has made a late £5.5bn bid to buy Manchester United. The offer is understood to be for 100% of the club and includes the clearance of the £1bn debt. The Glazer family, who currently own Manchester United, have rejected Sheikh Jassim’s offer. The family has said that they are not interested in selling the club at this time.
Sheikh Jassim has said that he is disappointed by the Glazer family’s decision to reject his offer. He has said that he will continue to try to buy the club. It is still unclear whether Sheikh Jassim will be able to buy Manchester United. The Glazer family has said that they are not interested in selling the club, but Sheikh Jassim has said that he will continue to try to buy it. It is possible that the two sides will be able to reach an agreement, but it is also possible that the sale will not go through.
The Qatari billionaire who wants to buy Manchester United has made an extraordinary eleventh-hour ‘take it or leave it’ offer for the club.
Mail Sport understands that, in a seismic development, Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani has submitted a final, improved bid in an attempt to see off competition from rival Sir Jim Ratcliffe and conclude a deal for total ownership of the Premier League giants to end a protracted saga.
There have already been three rounds of bidding with a deadline for final offers set last month.
It had appeared that British petrochemicals billionaire Ratcliffe was in a stronger position. While his offer was not for 100 per cent of the club’s shares it did value United higher than the Qatari.
Ratcliffe has also offered executive co-chairmen Joel and Avram Glazer the opportunity to stay with a partial stake for two or four years before finally exiting. That prospect was seen as desirable to the brothers, who are thought to be keen on staying in some capacity at Old Trafford ahead of finally cashing out.
It was hoped that a preferred bidder would be chosen last week, with the clock ticking to the opening of the transfer window and United’s squad in need of strengthening. But talks have been ongoing and earlier today Sheikh Jassim made a further move in a last-ditch attempt to seize control of the club.
The Qatari’s offer is believed to be significantly improved on his first, although it is still thought to value United at a lower price than Ratcliffe. However, Sheikh Jassim’s bid is for total control with the fee to be paid now. It would instantly clear the club’s debt, which at the last count was around £536m. The offer also contains the promise of significant investment in both the playing squad and the upgrade or rebuild of Old Trafford.
The process is being overseen by Raine Group, the New York-based merchant bankers who managed the sale of Chelsea last year.
It remains to be seen if Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group will respond to the latest development. Talks with all parties are thought to be continuing. Should Ratcliffe succeed, one of his proposals is to take a 50 per cent share, which would lead to a gradual takeover that values the club at around £6bn.