Sheikh Jassim submits ‘take it or leave it’ FINAL offer for Man United… Qatari billionaire hoping to see competition from rival Sir Jim Ratcliffe with extraordinary offer in 11th hour
- Sheikh Jassim hopes for a 100% takeover of the club by the Glazer family
- Qatari billionaire still values United lower than rival Sir Jim Ratcliffe
- It was hoped that a preferred bidder for the club would be chosen last week
The Qatari billionaire who wants to buy Manchester United has made an extraordinary eleventh-hour ‘take it or leave it’ offer for the club.
Mail Sport understands that, in a seismic development, Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani has submitted an improved final offer in a bid to fend off competition from rival Sir Jim Ratcliffe and strike a deal for full ownership of the Premier giants. League to end a protracted saga.
There have already been three rounds of bidding with a deadline for final bids set last month.
It had appeared that British petrochemical billionaire Ratcliffe was in a stronger position. Although his offer was not for 100% of the club’s shares, it valued United more than the Qatari.
Ratcliffe also offered executive co-chairs Joel and Avram Glazer the option to stay on with a partial stake for two or four years before eventually stepping down. This prospect was considered desirable for the brothers, who would like to stay at Old Trafford to some degree before finally cashing in.
Qatari Sheikh Jassim has tabled a last-ditch bid for Man United as they seek to take full control
Sheikh Jassim wants to buy 100% of United and take over the club entirely from the Glazer family
It had appeared Ineos boss Sir Jim Ratcliffe was in a stronger position in the protracted battle
It was hoped that a preferred bidder would be chosen last week, with the clock ticking to the opening of the transfer window and United’s squad in need of strengthening. But talks are ongoing and earlier today Sheikh Jassim took another step in a final bid to take control of the club.
The Qatari’s offer is believed to be significantly improved on his first, although it is still believed to value United at a lower price than Ratcliffe. However, Sheikh Jassim’s offer is for full control with fees to be paid now. This would instantly clear the club’s debt, which at last count was around £536m. The offer also contains the promise of significant investment in both the playing team and in upgrading or rebuilding Old Trafford.
The process is overseen by Raine Group, the New York-based investment bankers who handled the sale of Chelsea last year.
It remains to be seen whether Ratcliffe’s Ineos group will react to the latest development. Talks with all parties are believed to be continuing. If Ratcliffe is successful, one of his proposals is to take a 50% share, which would lead to a gradual takeover that values the club at around £6billion.