Manchester United seeks $100m New York stock sale

Market strategist and former professional footballer Michael Jarman said the move was ''a risky strategy''

Manchester United has applied to list on the US stock market in a share sale aimed at raising $100m (£64m).

In documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Premier League giant said it was listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

The club had earlier explored the possibility of a $1bn flotation on the Singapore stock market.

United, among the best-supported clubs in the world, said it would use money from the listing to repay debt.

The club has been controlled since 2005 by the Glazer family, the billionaire US sports investors who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers American football franchise.

The Glazers borrowed large sums of money to buy the club and the interest payments on this debt are onerous.

In 2010, the owners converted these loans into a bond in order to reduce the interest, but analysts say the share sale demonstrates how the club remains weighed down by its heavy debts, despite its huge global fan base and promotional and marketing efforts.

The club currently owes £423m.

"We intend to use all of our net proceeds from this offering to reduce our indebtedness," the prospectus filed with the SEC said.

The club will issue two categories of share to ensure that the Glazer family remains in control.

Start Quote

The exact price and number of shares to be offered to the public will become clear in the coming weeks ”

End Quote David Bond BBC Sports Editor

The $100m figure in the initial public offering (IPO) paperwork is what is known as a "placeholder" figure, and it is envisaged that the club will want to raise significantly more than this sum.

In September, United received approval for a share sale in Singapore, but the process was delayed because of volatility in the stock markets.

Several high-profile flotations have been pulled in recent months as investor appetite has been dampened by the European debt crisis and worries that Asian economies are slowing.

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