In a last-minute twist, Qatari billionaire Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani has reemerged with a final proposal in his attempt to acquire Manchester United, competing against Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
The drama surrounding the potential takeover appeared to be reaching its conclusion when news broke that Sheikh Jassim has presented a take-it-or-leave-it offer to purchase the entire club, with the hope of diverting the Glazers’ focus away from Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
This unexpected turn of events adds further intrigue to the Manchester United ownership saga.
Recent developments reveal that Sir Jim Ratcliffe emerged as the favored bidder following the final round of bidding last month, presenting an offer for a majority takeover of Manchester United.
However, Qatari billionaire Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani has now submitted an improved final offer.
Despite the improvement, it is believed that Sheikh Jassim’s offer is still valued lower than Ratcliffe’s.
This valuation disparity has persisted since the purported third and final round of bids that took place last month.
It’s important to note that while Ratcliffe’s bid does not encompass the complete acquisition of the club, his offer for a majority stake, allowing the Glazers to retain ownership before a gradual buyout, places a higher valuation on Manchester United.
In addition to the proposition of acquiring 100% ownership of the club, Sheikh Jassim’s offer includes the notable provision of eliminating the £536 million ($669.2 million) debt burden that currently encumbers Manchester United.
Conversely, if Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid is successful, his petrochemicals company INEOS is expected to assume and oversee the management of the debt.
Despite earlier indications that a preferred bidder would be decisively identified last week, discussions with all parties involved are reportedly ongoing.
It remains uncertain whether Ratcliffe will make further attempts to enhance his offer in response.
The urgency to finalize Manchester United’s takeover has intensified, particularly with the impending closure of the summer transfer window and the challenging situations faced by both the men’s and women’s teams in terms of player arrivals and departures.
The pressure is mounting to ensure that the takeover is successfully concluded before the end of the season.