Man United set for Asia flotation
Manchester United's US owners are set to multiply the value of their investment by six times if it floats in Asia, it has been reported.
The Glazer family bought the Premier League football club for £790 million in 2005 in a controversial deal that has sparked fury among fans because they put in just £300 million of their own money and loaded the club with debt.
According to the Sunday Times, the Glazers expect Manchester United to be valued at £2.4 billion and following the sale of a 25% stake, which will raise £600 million in new money for the club, their holding to be worth more than £1.8 billion.
The flotation, on the Singapore stock market, is expected to raise enough cash to clear the club's outstanding borrowings, currently more than £500 million.
Despite fans' protests and fears that the high interest charges would hamper investment in the team, the club has remained one of the world's most successful sports franchises. It won the Premier League for a record 12th time last year and reached the final of the Champions League.
Manchester United have a huge fan base in Asia, with supporters estimated to number more than 190 million or more than half of its total number of fans.
The club is expected to use the float to expand its commercial reach in the region as well as raise cash.
Last week, it was revealed it had lodged a listing submission with the Singapore exchange, which would mean a float would most likely be in the final three months of 2011.