Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, the son of the former prime minister of Qatar and one of the richest people in the Gulf, has submitted an offer for Manchester United as the tender for the Premier League club opens. .
Son Sheikh Jassim confirmed his bid for one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious football clubs in a statement to the Financial Times.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire founder of British chemical group Ineos, has also offered to buy the clubs, according to people familiar with the process. Ratcliffe has hired JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs as advisors and plans to establish himself as an alternative to the UK as one of Britain’s most famous cultural assets prepares to change ownership. I’m here.
The United acquisition will likely break the record price paid to the sports team last year by the Denver Broncos American football side. an heir, Win an NFL franchise $4.6 billion.
Sheikh Hamad, better known as HBJ, was a billionaire and one of Qatar’s most powerful figures, having served as prime minister and foreign minister in the 1990s and 2000s.
He headed the Qatar Investment Authority and acquired a Doha stake in London’s Shard skyscraper, Chelsea Barracks, when Qatar capitalized on its gas wealth for trophy assets in the 2000s. bottom. Canary Wharf, London Stock Exchange and Berkeley and Connaught hotels.
However, HBJ’s influence waned in 2013 when Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani stepped down as emir and handed power over to the current ruler, his son Sheikh Tamim, to the surprise of the Gulf nations.
HBJ soon became prime minister and head of the sovereign wealth fund QIA. However, he manages a large personal fortune and remains an active investor. Forbes magazine estimates his net worth at $1.3 billion.
Qatar’s bid is for full ownership of the club owned by the Glaser family, American sports investors. It is debt free and traded through a foundation founded by Sheikh Jassim.
Ratcliffe will struggle to match the financial firepower of an offer from Qatar, but he’s trying to emphasize his local roots, promoting a “progressive, fan-centric” approach to ownership. A source close to the bid said it had promised.
Ratcliffe also touted a ‘British bid’ when he tried to gatecrash Chelsea FC’s bid last year, but the last-minute nature of the offer called into question his seriousness.
After conducting a £2.5 billion auction for Chelsea, merchant bank Raine Group led the sale and was mandated. Raine did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Confirmation of the two bids will be made on the first closing date of the acquisition process.
A spokesperson for Sheikh Jassim said: “This bid plans to restore the club to its former glory on and off the pitch and, above all, to put fans at the heart of Manchester United Football Club again. I’m aiming,” he said. United have not won the Premier League since legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 after winning his last title.
“This tender is completely debt-free through Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation and aims to invest in football teams, training centers, stadiums, wider infrastructure, fan experiences and the communities the club supports. increase.”
Qatar has invested billions of dollars in sports over the past two decades, projecting its image on the world stage. Last year, it successfully hosted the first football World Cup in the Arab world.
In 2011, state-owned Qatar Sports Investments acquired French club Paris Saint-Germain.
Speculation is rife that either QSI or QIA are interested in buying a stake in Manchester United. But the majority bid was complicated by rules from Uefa, the governing body of European football, banning any organization that manages his two clubs competing in the same competition.
A person familiar with the Manchester United debate said no government-affiliated bodies, including QIA and QSI, had bid for United. Neither was Sheikh Tamim, the emir of Qatar, or his immediate family.
The QIA had discussed the possibility of a minority stake with United and Liverpool months ago, but decided it didn’t make economic sense, the people said.
The Glazer family have owned the 20-time English league champions Red Devils since 2005, and a £790m leveraged buyout has hurt their relationship with the club’s fanbase from the start. Glazers has confirmed that it is considering the sale as part of a broader strategic review announced last November.
The auction is seen as a unique opportunity to acquire one of the world’s largest sports brands and join a small owner club in the Premier League, the world’s top-grossing football division.
Shares of the New York-listed club soared to a record high of over $26.50 this week, giving the company a market cap valued at around $4.4 billion. The stock was trading at around $13 before the Glazers revealed they were considering a sale in November.
A spokesman for the Qatari tender declined to comment on its value.
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