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Thursday July 18, 2024

Manchester takeover picks up steam as second bids come in

Raine Group could follow this by asking for third offers or naming a preferred bidder, say sources

By Sports Desk
March 26, 2023
Banner of Manchester United. — Twitter/AFP
Banner of Manchester United. — Twitter/AFP

The battle for the fan-favourite Manchester United is growing more intense by the day as Qatar's Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani and CEO of chemical company INEOS Sir Jim Ratcliffe have made revised bids to buy Manchester United.

Sources told ESPN that the Qatari banker was due to make his second offer before all bidders were given additional time ahead on Wednesday and was “confident of getting the deal". 

Sheikh Jassim's offer was submitted overnight on Friday UK time and will now be considered by Raine Group — the firm handling United's sale — and the current owners, the Glazer family.

Sources have told ESPN that bidders are not expecting an immediate response to their offers.

An Italian journalist reported that the group are "confident" and they "believe bid is the best one for the club, fans, and local community".

Furthermore, Ratcliffe — who is a British billionaire and Chairman and CEO of INEOS — confirmed the group's submission of their second bid as well.

"Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS can confirm we have submitted a revised bid," the British billionaire told media.

Moreover, a Finnish businessman — Thomas Zilliacus — claimed that he too has made a bid to take over at Old Trafford.

However, after the round of second bids, it is possible that Raine Group could follow this by asking for third offers or naming a preferred bidder, the sources said.

United staff have been told to expect "clarity" on the ownership situation by the end of the season.

The Glazers, in a statement released in November, said they would explore "strategic alternatives" and were considering both a full sale or a minority investment.

The Glazers are keeping all their options open, the sources said.

Offers of investment have been made by several US-based hedge funds, including Elliot Investment Management, they said.