Manchester United are in talks to grant exclusivity to Sheikh Jassim’s takeover bid, according to reports. The Premier League giants are negotiating with the Qatari-led consortium in a £ 4.7 million-plus deal.
According to sources, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani’s bid is being viewed more favourably than Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s. The Glazer family owners would be selling up completely as part of the Qatari deal, while Ratcliffe’s bid would see the unpopular Americans retain a minority interest in the club. United’s share price has rocketed in anticipation of a deal.
If the exclusivity period is given, United could not negotiate with any other bidder, though it is unclear how long this period could last. However, sources add that a new bid from Ratcliffe could hinder Jassim’s attempt to secure exclusivity.
Social media users were quick to point out the spike in the club’s share price in the moments after the news broke. A sudden spike of 14.73 per cent – which raised the club’s share price up to $26.50 – could be seen on the New York Stock Exchange.
It was reported earlier this week that Sheikh Jassim’s bid had come out on top, and United legend Rio Ferdinand recently claimed that the Qatari’s offer would ‘go through’ after Sheikh Jassim made a dramatic late bid.
‘The Man United takeover is imminent,’ Ferdinand said on his Five channel on YouTube. ‘We are hearing the Qatari bid is the one that has been accepted, the one that is imminent and the one that is going to go through. Hallelujah, man. I cannot wait. Please let this happen.
‘Look how long this has gone on for. The Glazers have dug their heels in. It will go to the biggest bidder which is normal in negotiations but I want this to be resolved before the transfer window kicks in and now it is opening and starting to move.’
Suggestions that Sheikh Jassim’s bid was successful were heightened after Nine Two Holdings became an official UK company on Thursday. However, the document confirming the registration is part of the standard procedure for bidders to have everything in place, should their offer be chosen.
The paperwork was also sent off months ago before the Qataris upped their bid to £ 4.7 million. The takeover process has now stretched beyond six months after the Glazers first announced their willingness to sell the club in November. However, a hoax report earlier this week – that claimed a takeover had been agreed – similarly caused Man United’s share price on New York’s Stock Exchange to spike by 24 per cent.
United’s share price – which was around $12 when the Glazer family announced the club was to be put up for sale – is always closely monitored and a sudden spike to $25.01 caught the eye. The spike occurred after a report from the Qatari newspaper Al-Watan claimed that Sheikh Jassim has prevailed in his bidding war with Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Sheikh Jassim’s bid is for total control of United, while Ratcliffe’s offer is for around 60 per cent of the club. Ratcliffe’s bid comes with a proposal that would allow United’s current unpopular owners the Glazers to remain for a set time period ahead of a buyout.