Despite the possibility of the Glazers staying in control, the Americans remain ‘determined sellers’ if £5billion asking price is met
Manchester United bidders will attend detailed presentations at Old Trafford next week as the Glazers are said to remain “determined sellers” at the right price.
Executives will outline “opportunities and challenges” as Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe prepare their final offers for the club.
Telegraph Sport revealed on Saturday how the pair had been given the green light to enter the second stage of the sale process. They will now come under pressure from the sellers to meet a £5billion asking price.
Representatives from the New York brokers Raine are also flying in to help with talks as the race to buy the club heats up by the end of next week.
As well as attending Old Trafford, advisors representing Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim will also be separately shown the Trafford Training Centre. As part of various due diligence exercises, detailed presentations are expected to outline potentially increased earning power if £1billion infrastructure improvements are delivered.
Bidders are also preparing to receive more detailed financial information in a data room over the coming days. Sheikh Jassim, a Qatari bank chairman, and Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group are the only two parties to have gone public with their attempts to buy United.
Telegraph Sport has previously disclosed how Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe will have to raise their offers to convince the Glazers to sell. If price expectations are not met, the Glazers could hold on to the club, although one City source insists they remain “determined sellers” as it stands.
Unlike the fraught Chelsea sale last summer, talks will remain a fiercely kept secret as the bidding process heats up over the coming days. Bidders have agreed to non-disclosure agreements.
US hedge funds Elliott Management and financiers Oaktree Capital and MSD Partners also submitted proposals to Raine, offering to provide funding for potential suitors. It is not clear whether their offers are still being considered.
Sheikh Jassim is offering to buy out the Glazers and United’s minority shareholders in their entirety, clear the club’s debts and invest in a new stadium, training ground and playing squad.
Ratcliffe, who is being advised by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, does not plan to load any fresh debt onto the club and hopes his local ties could prove significant. United’s gross debt, according to their latest accounts, stands at £680 million.
Any new owner could also face the prospect of having to finance a new stadium and training ground, which could cost between £1billion and £2billion.
Yet the chance to take ownership of one of the most fabled sports clubs in the world could keep the valuation high, sources close to the process have said. Brokers are still acting under instructions from the Glazers that any deal would need to be finalised by the end of April.