The world's most supported football club considers ditching plans to float in Asia.
Manchester United, named by Forbes as the world's richest football club for eight years in succession, is considering abandoning its initial public offering (IPO) in the Asian stock market and listing in the US instead, in search of the best valuation, according to sources with knowledge of the plans.
The 19-times English top-flight champions had previously planned a $1 billion flotation in Singapore in the second half of last year before the plans were put on ice due to market uncertainty. But sources claim that banks pitched the idea of switching the IPO to the American owners, the Glazer family, who may see a US listing as more accessible to investors around the world.
Any potential move may see a shake-up in the bookrunning syndicate for the deal, with JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM.US) and Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS.US) tipped to remain, though Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS.US) -- who were hired for the Singapore share sale -- may no longer advise.
If the rumours transpire to be true then it would strike a blow for the Singapore market, which aims to become the base of a cluster of international sports names -- indeed, it would be a second blow in quick succession, after Bernie Ecclestone delayed the proposed Formula One IPO bid, which would aim to fetch in the region of $2.5bn - $3bn.
So far, Manchester United have declined to comment on the speculation. Watch this space...
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