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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

GONE!!!

SPORTS tycoon Malcolm Glazer has confirmed he has passed the threshold for forcing the compulsory purchase of all Manchester United shares.The American businessman, who set a deadline of 3pm yesterday for investors to offer to sell their stake in the Old Trafford club, told the City he now owned around 98% of United shares - more than the 97.6% needed for complete control.Mr Glazer's Red Football investment vehicle accrued 97.3% of shares when the first deadline for the offer came to an end a fortnight ago.But he has now bridged the gap, meaning any shareholders who have not sold will be forced to do so unless they take up Red Football's advice to accept the 300p-a-share offer "as soon as possible".The announcement is largely academic given Mr Glazer is already in effective control of the Red Devils and has nominated sons Joel, Avi and Bryan to the Old Trafford board.However, it will quash any internal attempt to quell his power even though major fans groups Shareholders United and the Independent Manchester United Supporters' Association have vowed to continue the struggle to oust him.The takeover requires £540 million of borrowing, including a £265 million loan facility secured against United's assets. The Glazer family will provide £272 million towards the deal.Details of Mr Glazer's plans for the club are also said to include raising its revenues by 52% to £245.6 million by 2010 from £161.5 million this year. It means a ticket priced at around £30 could increase to about £45 by 2010.

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