In a surprising turn of events, shares of Manchester United experienced a significant surge of 30% during premarket trading on Tuesday. The boost in share prices followed reports from Qatari media, suggesting that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani was likely to succeed with his takeover bid for the Premier League soccer club.
According to Qatar’s Al-Watan newspaper, Sheikh Jassim, the son of the country’s former prime minister, is expected to be announced as the preferred bidder for Manchester United. It is worth noting that Al-Watan is co-owned by Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani.
While a spokesperson for Manchester United was not available for immediate comment, the news sparked a surge in the team’s shares, which are exclusively traded on the New York Stock Exchange. At 4:45 a.m. ET, the shares were trading around 26% higher.
These reports come after a seven-month negotiation period, during which British petrochemicals billionaire Jim Ratcliffe also expressed interest in purchasing the club. Sheikh Jassim’s potential acquisition has been shared on Twitter by the Al-Watan newspaper’s social media account, stating that the announcement of his successful bid would be made soon.
Fahad al-Emadi, the editor of Al-Watan, echoed this sentiment, stating, “All the news received indicates the success of Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jassim’s acquisition of Manchester United, and the announcement of the deal will be very soon.”
The Glazer family, who are the current American owners of Manchester United, initiated the formal sale process in late 2022, announcing their intention to explore strategic alternatives for the club. Sheikh Jassim reportedly submitted an improved fifth and final offer of approximately $6.3 billion for total control of Manchester United on June 7. On the other hand, Ratcliffe expressed his desire to acquire around 60% of the club.
As the situation unfolds, stakeholders and fans eagerly await official announcements regarding the potential takeover, which could potentially shape the future of one of the most prominent football clubs in the world.