Manchester United (MANU.N) has revealed its ability to potentially compel Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire, to divest his ownership stake in the British soccer club at least 18 months after he completes his acquisition of a 25% share in the company.
This disclosure was made through a regulatory filing on Tuesday, although the specific circumstances were not outlined.
Furthermore, Manchester United’s filing states that for a period of three years following the closure of Ratcliffe’s deal, any potential sale of the club that the American owners, the Glazer family, might consider will need to fetch a minimum price of $33 per share for Ratcliffe.
Despite requests for comment to a Manchester United spokesperson, no immediate response was received outside of regular business hours, according to Reuters.
In a significant development on Sunday, Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group secured a deal to purchase a 25% interest in Manchester United at $33 per share.
The deal valued the club, which has been crowned English champions 20 times, at $6.3 billion, factoring in its debt.
Following months of uncertainty surrounding the deal, Manchester United’s stock saw a rise of 3.4% on Tuesday, much to the delight of fans and investors who were hoping that this acquisition would bring fresh vigor to the British soccer club.
In addition to obtaining a stake in the club, INEOS will take charge of managing Manchester United’s soccer operations.
This move comes in response to criticism directed at the Glazer family, who have held ownership of the club for an extended period, during which the team’s performance has notably declined over the past decade.
Manchester United’s stock experienced a remarkable surge of approximately 52% after the Glazers announced their intention to explore strategic options, including a potential sale, in November of the previous year.
The club’s fortunes have dipped significantly since the departure of former manager Alex Ferguson in 2013, as it has had five permanent managers and three caretakers, with just four trophies won in the past 11 years.
Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS Sport already possesses a notable presence in the world of soccer, with ownership of France’s OGC Nice, currently second only to Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1, which is majority-owned by the Qatar Sports Investments fund.
Additionally, INEOS owns FC Lausanne-Sport, a team currently battling relegation in the Swiss Super League.
Despite substantial investments in acquiring popular players over the past several years, Manchester United has struggled in European competitions and currently sits in eighth place in the Premier League standings.