Manchester United F.C., the famed U.K. soccer franchise, plans to sell shares for the first time in an initial public offering (IPO), according to filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The organization plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange rather than on competing exchanges in London or Singapore.
Manchester United is planning to raise about $100 million, according to a filing. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late on Tuesday night the football club did not reveal how many shares it would offer or at what price.
The current owners, the Glazer family, also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2005, the family launched a $1.47 billion leveraged buyout of the club, filling the club's finances with debt. The filing says that the proceeds of the IPO will be used to pay off some of the outstanding debt. It is important to note that no share price has been listed and that the $100 million total is likely to change as demand for the shares is assessed over the next few months.
Manchester United reported $663 million dollars of debt as of March 31. For comparison, Manchester United made an operating profit of nearly $100 million in the twelve months ended June, 2011. The filing also indicates that much of the debt carries high interest rates above 8 percent, and raising cash to pay down debt may be a very good objective for the club.