Glazers revive plans for partial flotation of Manchester United in Singapore
Manchester United owners, the Glazer family, have revived plans to float a substantial stake of the club on the Singapore stock exchange before August, according to the Sunday Times.
The controversial American owners, who took the club private after they bought it in a deal that valued it at £790million in 2005, first touted the idea in 2010, but unstable market conditions soon put paid to their plans.
But now with the markets improving, the Glazers are reportedly ready to go ahead with the move which would see them list between 25 and 30 per cent of the club's shares in the hope of raising as much as £600million.
Credite Suisse, who the Glazers initially approached to handle the initial public offering (IPO), could be drafted back in to facilitate the move which could help to establish a true market value for the club, reduce debt and realise cash for use within the business or elsewhere.
The Premier League champions carry about £500million in bond debt, acquired in 2010 when the Glazers launched a bond issue to pay off existing loans taken out to help in the leveraged buyout.
But the club's chief executive, David Gill, has stated on numerous occasions that it can easily absorb the £45m-a-year interest payments attached to the bond, despite fans' protests that the money could be better used in strengthening Sir Alex Ferguson's playing squad.
One school of thought is that the Glazers are looking to use the proceeds of an IPO to repay some of the bond debt while there is also the small matter of the £225m high-interest, payment-in-kind (PIK) hedge fund loans they paid off in 2010.
It has never been revealed where the Glazers found the money to pay off the loans which accrued interest of 16.25 per cent, with some believing the part flotation is a necessity to cover the money raised in order to settle that PIK debt.