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Glazers delay Manchester United flotation amid market volatility

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 11:24 PM
LONDON -

Manchester United has put its planned $1 billion Singapore stock market flotation on hold because of volatility in the global markets, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Approval for the initial public offering has already been given by Singapore's stock exchange, but the Glazer family, United's American owner, is waiting for the market conditions to improve before going ahead with the listing, the person said.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club is not discussing its financial plans publicly.

The Glazer family, which also owns the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wants to raise $1 billion to help to cut debts, which were 458.9 million pounds ($747) on June 30 but the flotation plans are being delayed because of the wider economic instability.

Markets have been worried by Greece's chances of avoiding a massive debt default, Italy's debt downgrade and the International Monetary Fund warning that the global economy is growing far slower than anticipated and has entered a "dangerous phase."

If the reigning Premier League champions do not list by the end of the year they will have to seek an extension.

The Glazers plan to remain in control of United by only making between 25 percent and 30 percent of the club available in a float involving ordinary and non-voting preferred shares.

United's planned listing values the club at far more than the $1.9 billion valuation by Forbes magazine, which has ranked it as football's most valuable team for the last seven years.

United returned to profit in the year to June 30, making 29.7 million pounds (then $48 million) as Alex Ferguson delivered the club's record 19th English title.

The club was bought by the Florida-based Glazers for 790 million pounds ($1.4 billion) in 2005 when they de-listed the club from the London Stock Exchange.

United is declining to comment on the Singapore flotation plans.

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