Parties interested in completing a takeover of Manchester United are yet to hear back from the Raine Group following last week’s second round of bidding.
Raine - the investment bank handling the club’s potential sale - set last Wednesday as the deadline for prospective bidders to make a second offer for United. However, that was extended to Friday following confusion surrounding the Qatari and Ineos offers.
Three confirmed bids have been made for the club from Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Thomas Zilliacus. The latter is a new name to enter the fray and wasn’t involved in the first round of bidding.
The 69-year-old Finnish businessman spoke to ManchesterWorld about his vision for a potential new ownership for the club, and revealed he has attempted to reach out to his competitors but has yet to hear back from them. Zilliacus also said he is willing to work with Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe and pool their resources together, although he also hopes to sell a certain number of shares back to fans, if successful.
Zilliacus told ManchesterWorld that United is an ‘institution that was here before I was born and will be there long after I’m gone’. The Scandinavian entrepreneur also feels it’s important to give fans a say in the running of the club, with decisions such as whether modernising the stadium or investing in transfers is the key priority.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail claim that Raine have received an offer of partial investment from Elliott Investment Management. Their bid would see the Glazers retain ownership of the club but have funds available to upgrade Old Trafford. TalkSPORT report that the Glazers have set a £6bn price tag on the club, but state that co-chairmen Joel and Avram Glazer would prefer a minority investor ahead of a full buyout.
As per ESPN, the offers from Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe remain below the Glazers’ asking price, but it is hoped that United’s owners may compromise on their valuation. ESPN add: “There are fears at Old Trafford that new owners might want to make significant changes to the structure at the club, which could jeopardise the next phase of Erik ten Hag’s rebuild.”
Should Sheikh Jassim’s bid prove successful, the Daily Record believe United would form an ‘informal network’ of clubs with Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain and Braga, while Malaga could also join that number soon. The same outlet state that Ratcliffe is confident that he will ultimately win the bidding war.