Manchester United to go public in New York

Manchester United Football Club (Chris Trotman/Getty Images/AFP)
Manchester United football club has announced it plans to raise $100 million in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

­Manchester United said it earned as much as $519 million in the 2011 financial year, but the club still has a debt burden $663 million. "We intend to use all of our net proceeds from this offering to reduce our indebtedness," the club said in a statement.

Forbes magazine estimates that Manchester United is worth $2.24 billion, making it the most valuable soccer team in the world.

Last year Manchester United considered a $1 billion IPO on the Singapore stock market, but it had to call off its plans due to the volatile markets. Experts believe that filing for a lower amount at IPO is reasonable strategy that would help the club’s shares to pop at the opening as investors rush to buy a low float stock.

Manchester United plan to offer Class A shares at the market, while the team’s owners, the Glazer family, would retain control through Class B shares, which would have 10 times the voting power of the Class A stock. The team has already picked Jefferies Group Inc., Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank as its underwriters.

Manchester United has been English champions a record 19 times and holds many famous players such as England's Wayne Rooney. The club has an estimated global fan base of 659 million people, according to a survey carried out last year by market researcher Kantar.