Manchester United aims to raise $100M in U.S. share offering

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Story highlights

  • The team belongs to the Glazer family, who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Manchester United has a powerful brand but also a high level of debt
  • The share offering is intended to pay off some of its debt, the club says
The storied British soccer team Manchester United said Tuesday that it plans to raise about $100 million in an initial public offering of its shares in the United States.
News reports last year had linked the club, where the England star Wayne Rooney plays, with a possible listing in Singapore. But in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission published Tuesday, Manchester United said it aimed to sell shares in the homeland of its American owners, the Glazer family.
The team has one of the most powerful brands in world sport and has won 60 trophies in its 134-year history. But since the Glazers, who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, bought the team in 2005, it has accrued a high level of debt.
Manchester United said in the filing Tuesday that it had generated revenue of 331.4 million pounds ($519 million) in the financial year ended June 2011. But at the end of March this year, its total indebtedness stood at 423.3 million pounds ($663 million).
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The club said it would use the proceeds from the planned share offering to pay off some of its debt.
On the field, the team had an ultimately frustrating 2011-12 season. It lost out on the English Premier League title to its local rival, Manchester City, on the last day of the season, and failed to qualify from the group stage of the European Champions League.
The SEC filing did not specify when the planned listing would take place.
The filing described the maximum offering size of $100 million as "estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee," suggesting it could change in the future.