Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Qatari sheikh files second bid in tussle for Manchester United

Hawa Cissoko of West Ham slides in on Alessia Russo of Manchester United, giving away a penalty during the Womens Super League game at Old Trafford on March 25 Natalie Mincher/SPP/Sipa USA
Hawa Cissoko of West Ham slides in on Alessia Russo of Manchester United, giving away a penalty during the Women's Super League game at Old Trafford on March 25
  • Sheikh Jassim improves offer for Premier League club
  • Second bid thought to be around $6bn
  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Thomas Zilliacus also bidding for United

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has submitted an improved bid to buy Manchester United FC.

The Qatari businessman made his first offer for the Premier League club in February, when his spokesperson said the bid was completely debt free.

Merchant bank Raine Group, which is handling the sale process, had set a deadline of last Wednesday for a next round of bids, although Sheikh Jassim’s consortium was afforded an extension.

Financial details of the improved offer have not been revealed, but reports suggest it could be in the region of £5 billion ($6.12 billion). 

Sheikh Jassim, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank and son of a former prime minister of Qatar, has two main rivals for the keys to Old Trafford: Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the Greater Manchester-born billionaire and founder of Ineos, and Thomas Zilliacus, a Finnish mobile and social media entrepreneur whose offer was only revealed last week.

Zilliacus said in a statement: “I have appealed to my two main rivals, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim, to join forces with me so that we buy the club together and that way channel more money to the club for everything from player acquisition to stadium upgrades.

“I however have not received any reply, so XXI Century Capital has increased its bid.”

US hedge fund Elliott Management has expressed an interest in buying a minority stake in the football club – and offered to finance other parties keen to invest.

Manchester United has been owned by the American Glazer family since 2005. They revealed in November that they were keen to find new investors or to sell the club. They are reported to be looking for $6 billion for an outright sale.

The Glazers have been heavily criticised for their highly leveraged purchase and track record as owners. The club was debt-free ahead of their £790 million takeover and now has debt of £500 million. It has cost more than £1 billion to service the debt.

Manchester United was listed fourth in the latest edition of the global Deloitte Football Money League, released in January. The club made revenues of $739.45 million in 2022, up 23 percent year-on-year, according to Deloitte.

This included $332 million accumulated through commercial activities, $273 million through the club’s share of broadcasting rights and $135 million from match-day revenues.

Any sale of the Old Trafford club would likely exceed the biggest sports deal so far, the $5.2 billion including debt and investments paid for Chelsea by American Todd Boehly and his consortium, sources have told Reuters.

Latest articles

It is hoped the use of AI will speed up the time-consuming process of screening patients for cancer

Mubadala-backed US startup working on AI cancer care

A US genomics startup, backed by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, is working with ChatGPT creator OpenAI to improve cancer screening and treatment using artificial intelligence models. Color Health, which uses data science and machine learning for genetic testing and counselling in hereditary cancer and heart conditions, has developed an AI assistant, or “copilot”, […]

Gems operates more than 60 schools with over 130,000 students across the Middle East and North Africa

Brookfield to invest in Dubai’s Gems Education

A consortium led by Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management is to invest in Gems Education, the UAE’s private school operator. Other members of the group include Gulf Islamic Investments, Marathon Asset Management and the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Financial details were not disclosed but the investment is expected to be almost $2 […]

Two companies are dominant in the lithium industry – Chile’s SQM and US business Albemarle. In 2023, each commanded about 20 percent of global supply

Saudi Arabia targets Chile for lithium investments

Saudi Arabia’s mining minister Bandar Alkhorayef will visit Chile next month to negotiate a deal to secure lithium to support the kingdom’s ambition to expand its electric vehicle (EV) sector, a news report said. Alkhorayef will meet with his counterpart in Santiago, Reuters reported, quoting a Chilean government statement. The report said the two officials will discuss […]

Oman's tourism revenue increase was driven by a 15 percent rise in hotel guest numbers

Luxury hotel revenues in Oman rise to $242m

Oman’s luxury hotels continued to make money in April as the number of guests surged. The revenue of three- to five-star hotels rose 11 percent year on year to OMR93 million ($242 million), the state-run Oman News Agency said, quoting the National Centre for Statistics and Information data. The revenue increase was driven by a […]