Has the Manchester United takeover taken another twist? Old Trafford co-owner Avram Glazer is seen leaving a Mayfair hotel owned by the father of Sheikh Jassim

  • Avram Glazer stayed at a hotel in Mayfair owned by the father of Sheikh Jassim
  • Sheikh Jassim is one of the leading bidders looking to buy Manchester United
  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe is believed to be the preferred candidate to takeover the club 

Manchester United co-chairman Avram Glazer was seen leaving a hotel owned by the father of takeover hopeful Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani on Monday.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is said to be the frontrunner to take over the Old Trafford club after submitting his final bid for the club at the end of April, but Mail Sport understands that the principal bidders are in the dark over the Glazers’ thinking and the timetable for any sale.

While Ratcliffe’s bid team are understood to have been given no indication of where they currently stand, they feel comfortable that their offer to leave the Glazers with 20 per cent of the club is attractive. 

However, pictures published by The Mirror that showed Glazer outside Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair, London, will only fuel speculation that Sheikh Jassim is still in with a shout of beating Ratcliffe in the race to buying the Premier League giants.

The Mayfair hotel is a part of the Maybourne Hotel Group, which is owned by Sheikh Jassim’s father, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, Sheikh Jassim’s brother, is also a director of the Maybourne Hotel Group.

Avram Glazer (left) was seen outside a London hotel owned by the father of takeover hopeful Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani on Monday

Avram Glazer (left) was seen outside a London hotel owned by the father of takeover hopeful Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani on Monday

United's co-chair Glazer was seen outside Claridge's Hotel in Mayfair, London (stock image)

United’s co-chair Glazer was seen outside Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair, London (stock image)

Qatari Sheikh Jassim is one of the leading bidders looking to buy Manchester United

Qatari Sheikh Jassim is one of the leading bidders looking to buy Manchester United 

A final decision on who will win the race for the Premier League giants remains outstanding and is unknown when the decision will be reached.

However, British-born billionaire Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group have kept their noses ahead of the main rival bid from Qatari Sheikh Jassim, according to those close to the process, Mail Sport understands.

Mail Sport revealed last month that Ratcliffe had stolen a march when final bids were lodged having valued United higher than Sheikh Jassim. His proposals included the option for Joel and Avram Glazer to initially remain at the club before cashing out further down the line. 

It is not clear how such a deal would be constructed, given another 31 per cent of the club is owned by non-Glazer shareholders. 

But if Ratcliffe bought 49 per cent of the Glazers’ current 69 per cent holding for at least £2.5billion, it would value the club at more than £5bn.

United’s share price on the New York Stock Exchange had fallen to $18.12 (£14.54) by close of trading on Friday, giving the club a market cap of $2.96bn (£2.38bn). 

Any sale above £5bn would be extraordinary, and yet it seems Raine and the Glazers still think they can get more.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim of Qatar are in the dark over the Glazers' sale of Man United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim of Qatar are in the dark over the Glazers’ sale of Man United

Those with knowledge of Sheikh Jassim’s thinking expect that rumours will continue to circulate about the ebb and flow of the auction, and the sheikh remains in the dark on when things may finally conclude or which way they’ll go.

There is an acceptance that Raine and/or the Glazers might simply be trying to maximise the sales price, but Sheikh Jassim also remains confident in his bid of around £5bn for 100 per cent of the club.

‘Ultimately it’s up to the Glazers what they want to do and where we go from here,’ said one source. 

‘The process has always been a very fluid one and, crucially, has never had a set timeframe – though clearly the fans would like one for understandable reasons.’



Post source: Daily mail

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