United given $1 billion 'go-ahead'

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Football News

Manchester United have been given permission from the Singapore Exchange for a planned $1 billion listing, according to reports today.

The Red Devils are looking to cut their $500 million debt, whilst also growing their well-renowned fan base in Asia. It also offers the club a chance to take advantage of the continent's growth in the market place.

"The main issue now is the financial position of the company and they would have to convince potential investors that it's not going to be an issue going forward given that the global outlook is a little bit slower," said Lorraine Tan, director of Asia equity research at S&P Capital IQ, a unit of Standard & Poor's.

"Investor interest is always going to be a question of valuation, but they (Manchester United) are a big enough brand name, so I think they are not going to be heavily discounted like an unknown company."

Many of the club's fans remain sceptical over the deal, which is set to create a 'two-tier' system with ordinary and preferential shares in Manchester United.


However, the distribution of shares would not affect the Glazer family's control of the Old Trafford outfit, merely offering investors the opportunity of a higher dividend but lower voting rights.

The listing is unlikely to have a major impact on Sir Alex Ferguson and the Manchester United side at an early stage, but the cutting of debt could be beneficial in the future with regards to having more funds at the disposal of the manager.

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