Manchester United fans could soon have the chance to become part-owners of their favorite team. The Glazer family, owners of United, are preparing to list the club on a stock exchange in the United States, according to Reuters.
“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 95-100 percent,” the report says.
Forbes recently valued United at around $1.86 billion, making it the most valuable sports team in the world. The Glazers hope the stock floatation will keep it ahead of the chasing pack, and help the club capitalize on its estimated 659 million fans around the world.
The shopping-mall tycoons purchased United in 2005 when it was listed on the London stock exchange, but saddled the club with considerable debt in order to fund the purchase. Selling a minority stake could help raise funds to pay down that debt, and reduce the amount United pays in interest each year. It would also help mend the relationship with some supporters who have protested against the Glazers’ ownership in recent years.
Lsat year, it was reported the Glazers were considering launching an IPO on Singapore’s stock exchange. They hoped to raise nearly $1 billion in the move.