Manchester United get approval for Singapore share sale

  • 16 September 2011
  • From the section Business
Manchester United shop in Bangkok
Image caption Manchester United have many fans in Asia

Manchester United have received approval to float the company on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

The club wants to raise $1bn (£635m) to pay off some of its debts by selling about 25% of the parent company's shares.

United want to complete the process, which is known as an initial public offering (IPO), by the end of the year.

They will spend the next few weeks speaking to investors ahead of a road show to market the offer.

But analysts said the club might decide that it was not a good time to list.

"Volatile markets and weakening sentiment would be a major drawback for anyone who wants to list," said Vishnu Varathan from Capital Economic in Singapore.

"It's not the most ideal time to list, it's not a bull market. Tapping new sources of funds could be a challenge and pricing could come under pressure."

Manchester United is currently profitable, having reported a record annual operating profit of £110.9m for the year to the end of June 2011.

Headline pre-tax profit came in at £29.7m, compared with a loss the previous year.

The club is reported to be considering creating different classes of shares, some of which have lower voting rights but carry higher dividends.

The idea of that would be to maintain control of the club by the Glazer family, which bought Manchester United in 2005.

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