Man Utd takeover: Qatari's improved offer still falls short of Glazers' £6bn valuation as Sir Jim Ratcliffe also submits before deadline
- Qatari group makes final bid reportedly over £5bn
- Offer still well short of Glazers' £6bn valuation
- INEOS expected to make offer for 69% stake
WHAT HAPPENED? The Qatari banker submitted his final offer before Friday's deadline, a source close to the Nine Two foundation has told GOAL. It was reported earlier in the day by The Times that this offer would be in the region of £5 billion, although this has not been confirmed by the necessary parties. Sheikh Jassim made his first bid to buy United in February and his foundation have always stated they are only interested in a full takeover, pledging that they would make the club debt free.
This promise remains, GOAL has been told, as the group consider a full, debt-free takeover to be the best option for club, fans and wider community. Their proposal also includes an investment plan of both capital and infrastructure that will be injected into the club directly.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ratcliffe's INEOS group, the Qatari's main rival to buy United, also met United officials back in February. INEOS have stated that they are only interested in purchasing a maximum stake of 65%, while The Times previously reported that the petrochemicals firm could buy a smaller stake from the Glazers, enabling the American family to retain control of the Red Devils.
The Independent reports that another option INEOS had considered was to offer a 20 per cent stake to Avram and Joel Glazer but would still give Ratcliffe complete control. While the valuation and ownership balance is currently unknown, it is being widely reported that INEOS also successfully submitted their final offer before Friday's deadline.
AND WHAT'S MORE: According to a report in The Guardian on Thursday, the Glazer family are holding out for £6 billion to sell the club outright, and if their valuation is not met they will sell a smaller stake to a US private equity firm. But United fan groups have criticised the prospect of the Glazers remaining and have organised a mass protest outside Old Trafford before the Premier League match against Aston Villa on Sunday. This includes not entering the stadium until the 18th minute, marking the number of years the family have owned the club.
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WHAT NEXT? After both groups met the 10pm Friday deadline set by The Raine Group, GOAL understands that the decision now remains with United's sellers. It has been reported elsewhere that the Glazer family could select their successor as early as next week.