Man Utd and Ratcliffe get Premier League approval over minority stake deal

The Premier League has approved Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s proposed bid to buy a minority stake in Manchester United.

In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, United said it had already been granted approval under its rules over who is allowed to be an owner or director of a football club.

The Premier League later provided confirmation in a statement of its approval of his minority stake as well as the $300m (£238m) investment in the club, and said it now awaited the transaction’s overall completion.

It added: “The board agreed to the change of the club’s ownership structure last week, and this has now been officially ratified by an Independent Oversight Panel.

“This is the first acquisition of control to be reviewed and approved by such a panel following changes to the process which were agreed by Premier League clubs in March 2023.”

United are expecting clearance from the Football Association as British billionaire Ratcliffe, who is the owner of multinational chemicals company INEOS, closes in on completion of his deal to buy 25 per cent of the club.

File photo dated 17/3/2023 of prospective Manchester United investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe, whose team Nice are emerging as Ligue 1 title contenders this season. Issue date: Friday November 3, 2023.
Man Utd also expects clearance from the Football Association as Ratcliffe closes in on completion of his deal to buy 25 per cent of the club.

Ratcliffe agreed a deal to buy a stake in United in December and his tender offer for 25 per cent of the Class A shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange has been extended until midnight on Friday night.

The offer, which is part of Ratcliffe’s deal to become the minority owner of Manchester United, was originally due to expire at midnight on Tuesday.

It was announced on Christmas Eve that the INEOS chairman had agreed to buy a 25 per cent stake in the Premier League club in a deal that included the $300million investment in the club’s infrastructure.

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Manchester United’s new minority investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe is spotted in the Old Trafford stands and is sat alongside former Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson as Man Utd face Tottenham Hotspur.

As well as buying Class B shares held by the Glazer family, the announcement confirmed that Ratcliffe would offer to acquire up to 25 per cent of all Class A shares at a price of $33 (£26) per share.

Ratcliffe will provide $200m upon completion of the deal and a further $100m by the end of 2024. That additional investment will eventually take Ratcliffe’s stake up to 29 per cent. Owners, the Glazer family, will have a 49% stake under the deal

As part of the deal, Ratcliffe’s INEOS Sport division will take over control of United’s football operations after more than a decade since the club won the Premier League title.

Ratcliffe has already conducted a series of meetings with club staff and associates in recent days.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has met Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag

He has met leaders of the independent Manchester United Supporters’ Trust and spoken with local leaders, including senior representatives of Trafford Council, and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.

He was also among those in attendance at the Munich Air Disaster memorial last week.

Ratcliffe is reportedly already planning to lead an overhaul of United’s playing squad.

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The Good Morning Transfers team discuss the ‘big decisions’ facing new Manchester United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The 71-year-old was a boyhood United fan and last month described his proposed investment as the most exciting deal he has done in his career.

“I have done a few exciting things, but there is no question (about that),” he said.

Under the filing, more details were provided about Ratcliffe’s personal wealth which said his “liquid assets (primarily consisting of cash and readily marketable securities) were in excess of $4bn. It said his net worth was “significantly in excess of those liquid assets”.

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The Mirror’s John Cross and The Sun’s Dave Kidd discuss Jim Ratcliffe’s potentially bold plans to bring a new stadium to Manchester United.

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