The $1 Billion IPO (Initial Public Offering) – more explained

In layman’s terms it’s selling a percentage sale of the club on the stock market which most of you all have gathered by this point but people still hold many questions to be answered. At first many sources had the value at a nice round $1 Billion figure or £600m for 25% to 30% of the club. Some more reliable sources such as the BBC now believe it would be between £400m and £600m; they don’t believe it will be valued above £1.7 Billion. Back in 2005, Glazer paid £3 a share, for a value of around £800m and a £1.7 Billion valuation would give each share a value of £6.48. The lower £1.2 Billion valuation would still give a value of £4.57 or a 50% increase in value. There is another slight issue – it’s possible this could be open only to financial institutions, so anyone planning on buying shares will be disappointed. The share offer is a very real proposition with a number of large financial institutions working on it which include Morgan Stanley, UBS and many others most of us will have never heard of. Some paper work has already been put forward to the Singapore exchange and it’s the case of someone getting hold of it to see more detail.

So where do we, the fans, come into this? Well, clearly there are many out there would who love to buy a share or two in United. And for £40 you should be able to buy about 8 on a £1.2b valuation, but it’s not that simple. If it’s open to all to buy them you couldn’t just walk into your local bank like you would for the London Stock Exchange, you’d need to contact a broker in Singapore and use them. That causes another problem… The shares you’ve just bought through your broker to me and every other United fan are pretty much useless. To have any meaning they need to be bought inside of a group and this is where one of the 170 supporters trusts in the UK come in. In the Football Governance Report which has just been published there is a recommendation for legislation that protects supporters shares within supporters trusts. This means no one can be forced to sell. If the shares are open to all and if you want to buy them. Make sure you do a number of things before you even think about buying them.
  1. Don’t buy them at full price. It would be better to buy nearer the £1 Billion – £1.2 Billion mark rather than £1.7 Billion mark because there is a big chance they will drop in price.
  2. Buy them through The Supporters Trust. Sign up for free now and if they are open to all to buy, they’ll let you know and they’ll set up a system for fans to buy the shares. This gives four benefits. It means all fan shares are in a large group, they’ll recommend a price to buy them at, you don’t need to find your own broker, and when the government protection comes they are fully protected.
While MUST are calling for all to support Green and Gold, I’d call for something else. I’d always call for people to join MUST but there’s another group called IMUSA. If you haven’t heard of them before they’re a bit different to MUST but they want the same thing. They are the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association and they are one of the oldest fans organizations, in the county. Since 1995 they have worked on everything for you. This includes standing, ticket prices, football governance and most importantly today, legal issues in football related matters. This next piece is also linked to IMUSA, in a way. They have called for all English Premier League and Football  League Clubs to be owned 51% by their members who are the fans. This petition on the government website calling for ‘Partial Fan Ownership of English football clubs’ at a time when the IPO news is out, is perfect timing. The last time a petition started on this website and with a little more campaigning, the Government launched the Football Governance Inquiry which has since been published. So all I’d ask for is you sign the petition and also follow IMUSA on twitter for the latest news. For the work they still do and have done, they should have 100,000 followers not 386. would like to thank Andrew Simpson (@WEWANTGLAZEROUT) for sending us this article. We hope it helps you understand the current situation better.

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