Manchester United Sets Price For US Listing

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UNC.TO76.500.00
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The Glazer family is to sell just over 10% of Manchester United in an initial public offering that values the club at up to $3.3bn (£2.1bn).

Shares in the Premier League giant will be valued between $16-$20 (£10-£12.7) when the club floats on the New York Stock Exchange, which could raise as much as $333m (£211.9m).

Florida-based businessman Malcolm Glazer and his family, which bought the club in 2005, had initially indicated they would use all of the money to reduce United (Toronto: UNC.TO - news) 's hefty debts, which currently stand at £423m.

But they have come under criticism from fans since the terms of the offering were published on Monday because of the implication that only half of the proceeds would be used to reduce the club's borrowing.

Over 16.6 million shares in Manchester United will be listed, and the Glazer family - which also owns the US football team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - will retain 89% of shares in the club.

In the US Securities and Exchange Commission flotation lodgement, the club explained how it intended to "transact" to generate revenue from fans through mobile devices and social media.

"The rapid shift of media consumption towards internet, mobile and social media platforms presents us with multiple growth opportunities and new revenue streams," it said.

"Our digital media platforms, such as mobile sites, applications and social media, are expected to become one of the primary methods by which we engage and transact with our followers around the world."

Details of the offering came as the club announced a seven-year sponsorship deal with US car giant Chevrolet, reported to be worth around $600m (£381.9m), which starts in 2014.

The man behind the deal - General Motors (NYSE: GM - news) ' chief marketing officer Joel Ewanick - has left the company. US media have reported that the deal was a factor in his departure.

Manchester United is yet to publish its end-of-year accounts, but said it expects a fall in revenue for last year.

In 2011, when the club was knocked out of the Champions League, revenue is expected to have been between £315m-£320m - down up to 5% from the previous year.

The shares could be a tough sell in the US where 'soccer' is not as popular, and because the lack of publicly traded sports teams in the country to compare this listing to.

There have been several prior attempts to list the club which have failed, including in Hong Kong and Singapore - where it had originally hoped to raise as much as $1bn (£636.5).