Fascinating and juicy detail has been revealed on the Manchester United sale process, courtesy of Ben Jacobs.
‘Bidder A’ (Sheikh Jassim) formally withdrew on October 15, 2023. Qatar bid consistently failed to provide “customary financing commitment letters” throughout and there is no mention of pledged investment.
Several sources close to the sale had said repeatedly that the reality of Qatar’s offer did not match the PR.
SEC Filings also stress the Board made it clear equal per share consideration for A and B shares was necessary, and the Qatar bid failed to do this.
“Representatives of Manchester United continued to inform Bidder A [Jassim] that the Board of Directors was not prepared to move forward with a transaction whereby the holders of Class A Shares received less per share consideration than the holders of Class B Shares and that the Board of Directors would require sufficient evidence of the financing and customary financing commitment papers.”
It’s also confirmed Ratcliffe pivoted to his current structure in July 2023.
Raine were contacted by over 170 potential suitors with 26 parties signing NDAs, 19 of which requested process letters. 10 parties expressed initial and formal interest, seven of which proposed minority investment. Eight made it to the second round.
It’s also worth noting it is a regulatory requirement to be as truthful as possible in these filings.
It’s also clear, from the per-share offers listed, that no Qatar bid was above $5bn, with offers significantly lower than Sheikh Jassim sources indicated throughout the process. Ratcliffe, meanwhile, had four proposals rejected in 2023.
Note: You cannot ‘spin’ an SEC filing; the information above is a literal inference from the SEC filing, which is a legally binding government document. Lying to the SEC is a criminal offense in the USA.