Sir Jim Ratcliffe has ramped up his efforts to buy
Manchester United by hiring Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to advise him during the takeover process.
Britain’s richest man
confirmed in January that he intends to try and wrest control at Old Trafford from the Glazer family, who announced in November that the club are up for sale. Ratcliffe was the first party to go public with his interest but reports earlier this week claimed he will face competition from a group of Qatari investors.
Formal offers for United are set to be submitted imminently as
Avram and Joel Glazer look to sell up and bring to an end nearly 18 years of unpopular ownership by their family. Ratcliffe is cutting no corners as he bids to take control and has acquired the services of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to assist him.
That is according to
Bloomberg, which claims the two Wall Street firms will conduct a feasibility study into Ratcliffe’s bid to take over the Red Devils. The INEOS chief executive is discussing debt financing for his offer to buy the club, the business outlet claims.
The report adds Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan would be willing to back a takeover bid with bonds and loans which would see the two banks cover the value of United’s existing debt – which stands at roughly $800million (£658m) – and potentially stump up much more money.
The Glazers initially set a price tag of between £6billion and £8bn for the Red Devils, but a sum in the region of £4bn to £4.5bn appears more realistic. The club have a value of roughly £3bn on the
New York Stock Exchange, so a bid of up to £4.5bn could be enough to seal a full takeover from the American family.
Ratcliffe, who is a boyhood United fan, also held a season ticket at Stamford Bridge and failed with a last-gasp effort to purchase
Chelsea from Roman Abramovich last year. The INEOS chief already has a number of sporting endeavours and owns French side Nice, but he has spoken in the past about his desire to own a top-level club.
In January, a a spokesman for Ratcliffe confirmed to
The Times, “We have formally put ourselves into the process,” regarding a takeover bid for United. The Red Devils have been owned by the Glazer family since 2005, when they completed a contentious leveraged buyout.
Fans have grown increasingly incensed at the club’s owners in recent years due to poor results, unpopular dividend payouts and the European Super League scandal. Ratcliffe
previously spoke very highly of the Glazers, but there is no denying he would be a much more popular owner in the eyes of the Red Devils faithful.