Manchester United stadium
Manchester United share drop after Qataris pull out of bidding / Image source: Adobe
  • Shares fall pre-market after Qataris pull-out of bidding
  • Glazer family asking price a key sticking point
  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe now only bidder but for 25% stake

Pre-market trading in Manchester United (MANU:NYSE) indicates the shares could drop over 10% after Sky News reported Jassim bin Hamal al-Thani has withdrawn his interest following months of negotiations.

As of Friday’s close, Manchester United shares were up over 50% since February, boosted by hopes the club might be purchased by Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamal al-Thani for around $6 billion.

After months of negotiations which went nowhere, the Qataris indicated they could not entertain a higher price which majority owners the Glazer family were holding out for. The indicated $6 billion is almost double the $3.3 billion market value in February.

Jassim bin Hamal al Thani had offered to inject more than $1.7 billion into the club as well as paying down its $600 million of debts. The removal of the Qatari bid leaves the shares vulnerable to retreating to the roughly $13 per share they traded at in February.

One casualty of the share price fall is investment trust Finsbury Growth & Income (FGT), which is the club’s second largest shareholder.

Fund manager Nick Train has previously said his interest in the club reflects the value of its global brand as well as the anticipated growth in the sports entertainment market.


Manchester United’s majority owners are the Glazer family, who also own NFL (National Football League) club Tampa Bay Buccaneers and bought Manchester United for £760 million in 2005.

Manchester United shares fall 11% in pre-market trading after Qataris pull out of bidding

Interest in the club now falls to INEOS founder and chairman Jim Ratcliffe, who has reportedly said he would pay $1.5 billion for a 25% interest if his offer were accepted.

The terms of the proposed deal infers a value of $6 billion for the club but negotiations are thought likely to continue for several weeks which if successful would allow the Glazers a partial exit.

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Issue Date: 16 Oct 2023