Manchester United seeks US listing

Manchester UnitedManchester United has applied to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in a move it hopes will allow it to raise 100 million dollars (£64 million) by selling shares in the club.

The Premier League club filed documents with the US government's Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
Share prices have yet to be set but United would use the money raised from the flotation to reduce its debts, the application said.

The flotation would leave control over the club in the hands of the Glazer family, the billionaire US sports investors who bought it in 2005 for 1.47bn dollars (£940 million) - a takeover which left debts of £423 million.

The club pursued a one billion dollar (£640 million) flotation on the Singapore stock market last year but the move was halted because of the volatile global economy.

Under the reorganisation, the team would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manchester United Ltd, a newly-formed holding company based in the Cayman Islands.

Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of the Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST), welcomed the plan to reduce the club's debt but questioned the value of the shares on offer compared with those owned by the Glazers.

Mr Drasdo said: "A minority shareholding with inferior voting rights and no dividends is going to severely impact on the attraction to both financial and supporter investors.

"However if it turns out that the vast majority of the proceeds are used to pay off the debt that is certainly something MUST would welcome and entirely vindicates our long-standing position that their debt was damaging our club."

In April Manchester United was valued by Forbes magazine at 2.24 billion dollars (£1.43 billion), making it the most valuable club in world football for the eighth year in a row.
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