A group of Qatari investors are prepared to make an imminent bid to purchase Manchester United from the Glazer family, Bloomberg report.
The Glazers have hired the Raine Group as their financial advisors and they have set a soft deadline of February 17 to evaluate bids for the club.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe recently confirmed that his company are weighing up an offer, but it seems the most genuine interest is coming from Qatar.
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) are set to support a group of investors, who are expected to make a formal bid to buy United this week.
The QIA already own Paris Saint-Germain through a separate entity in Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), but this is unlikely to hamper the move.
It has been reported that UEFA won’t put any competition restrictions on United, provided they is a separate entity with a different structure, personnel and won’t be influenced directly by QIA.
A precedent has already been set with Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig playing in the Champions League this season while being owned by the same sports drink manufacturing firm in Red Bull GmbH.
United could be close to Qatari takeover
The Glazers are said to demand at least £5 billion to end their long-term association with United.
This would be a record fee for any sports team and it is expected to ward off interest from individual investors. Hence, any takeover has to involve some sort of consortium.
Sir Jim has spoken with banking firms such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan to finance the takeover, but this may not be beneficial. The loans could limit funds spent on the club.
Hence, United need a wealthy group that can spend from their own pockets without any hesitation. This would help in transforming the squad as well as improve Old Trafford.
With the current state of the stadium, it could take at least £1bn to modernise it while a complete makeover could cost in upwards of £2bn. It is certainly a huge investment.
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