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Manchester United stock jumps after report of ‘world record bid’ for the club

Manchester United is set to receive a “world record bid” for the club from Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, according to Sky Sports.

The bid would top the record $4.65 billion paid last year for the NFL’s Denver Broncos by a group of investors led by Walmart Inc.

heir Rob Walton. Shares of operator Manchester United Ltd.

rose 5.6% Wednesday vs. the S&P 500 index’s

decline of 0.1%.

Sky Sports reports that the American Glazer family that owns Manchester United is looking for $7.4 billion for the famous club, which had a calculated value of $4.6 billion in 2022, according to Forbes. Sheikh Jassim’s bid could be made Wednesday, according to Sky Sports.

Sheikh Jassim is the chair of Qatar Islamic Bank and the son of a past prime minister of Qatar. His bid for the club will be debt-free through his Nine Two Foundation, which was named in an apparent nod to Manchester United’s “class of ’92” FA Youth Cup-winning team, which included future stars David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt.

See Now: Manchester United owners push sale deadline back, report says

“We cannot provide guidance on a figure at this stage,” a spokesperson for the Nine Two Foundation told MarketWatch. “Any reporting on the size of the bid so far has been complete speculation.”

Representatives of Sheikh Jassim visited the club last Thursday to receive a presentation on a possible presentation. Sky Sports reported that they spent 10 hours at the club.

British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, chief executive of the chemical giant Ineos, has also made a bid for Manchester United and received a presentation at the club’s Old Trafford Stadium on Friday. The billionaire’s sporting links are strong: Ratcliffe, who ranks 27th on the Sunday Times Rich List, already owns the French Ligue 1 soccer club OGC Nice and the Ineos Grenadiers professional cycling team.

If the Glazer family wants to proceed with a sale, Ratcliffe wants to buy their full 69% shareholding, according to the BBC. The BBC reported Wednesday that both Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe will make “improved bids” for Manchester United ahead of a 9 p.m. GMT (4 p.m. ET) deadline.

Related: Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe meets with Manchester United for sale talks

The American Glazer family took control of Manchester United in 2005. In November, they confirmed they were exploring potential financial investment or an outright sale of the storied Premier League club.

The Glazers have come under intense pressure to sell the iconic English football club amid ongoing fan frustration over what is seen as underperformance. The club, one of the biggest names in world soccer, last won the Premier League in 2013. In 2021, the Glazers faced major backlash from fans over planned involvement in the controversial European Super League.

The club did clinch its first silverware in six years last month, with a 2-0 defeat of Newcastle United in the League Cup final.

Related: Manchester United shares surge after report Qatari investors set to bid

Manchester United is the most successful team in the English top division, which it has won 20 times. A record 13 of those titles have come in the Premier League era, which began in 1992. Founded as Newton Heath in 1878, the club became Manchester United in 1902 and won the first of its 20 league titles six years later.

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