Man Utd's planned IPO marries sense and sentiment
Posted on 17 August 2011 - 03:11pm
The Sun Daily
SINGAPORE (Aug 17, 2011): Much more than a case of raising funds where cash is plentiful, English soccer club Manchester United's plan to seek US$1 billion on Singapore's stock market is a marrying of financial sense and global supporter sentiment – and a resounding indication of where the club sees future growth.
The English Premier League club, de-listed from London's stock exchange in 2005 when it was bought by the American Glazer family, is now saddled with a debt pile that has led to a vilification of the Glazers among fans.
It has also left United in danger of struggling to meet "Financial Fair Play" rules put forward by soccer's European governing body UEFA.
And while the Glazers have made it clear they have no intention of selling, a flotation in Singapore makes perfect sense on many fronts: it will help reduce the debt burden; it targets Asia's strong economic and investing growth and, crucially, it will deepen United's links with a region ripe for expanding its powerful global brand.
"With two-thirds of their fans residing in Asia, two-thirds of the world living in Asia ... There's an attractive audience base to tap into," Singapore-based sports sponsorship expert Ben Heyhoe Flint told Reuters.
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Another side which United is very good - doing business. United, according to the Forbes is the most valuable team in the world is worth USD1.86 billion. Thanks to shrewd marketing and management diligent United is always on the top. Also kudos to the team beside their always brilliant performance on the field, their willingness to play at any time given is also the main factor. Whether at the chilling morning, hot under the sun in the afternoon, during the tea time at evening or at night prime time the team always give the best for the pleasure of their fans all over the world.
United once listed at London Stock Exchange under code of Manchester United Plc. Then delisted after the Glazer bought United in 2005 for USD1.5 billion. This created discontent among United fans and followers. A yellow and green group then emerged then followed by The Red Knights who attempts to buy United from the Americans. United had saddled with about USD 717 (RM 3.58billion) million debts created by the Glazers. The IPO was reported would give United USD 1 billion which could see off the debts. This should cold the anger of 300 millions fans world wide.