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Glazers and Sir Jim Ratcliffe navigate terms in Manchester United takeover agreement

Details of the ownership agreement with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the Glazer family have emerged, shedding light on potential financial ramifications.

football Glazers and Sir Jim Ratcliffe navigate terms in Manchester United takeover agreement osf
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First Published Dec 27, 2023, 7:17 PM IST

In the event that Manchester United and the Glazer family opt to cancel the agreement for Sir Jim Ratcliffe's acquisition of a minority stake in the club, they would be required to pay him a substantial fee, reaching up to $66 million.

The billionaire had previously agreed to purchase a 25% stake in the club for £1.3 billion, which would later increase to 29% upon the conversion of his $300 million investment into additional shares for the club's infrastructure.

The completion of this deal is contingent upon regulatory approvals, including those from the Premier League, a process expected to take around eight weeks. Should United and the Glazer family decide to terminate the agreement during this period, a termination fee of $48 million, along with an additional amount not exceeding $18 million to cover Ratcliffe's expenses, would be required to be paid within three business days.

Furthermore, specific clauses in the contract grant Ratcliffe the first option to purchase additional shares if the Glazers, whose stake would be reduced to 49%, decide to sell more shares within a year. However, in the event of a full sale of the club within 18 months, Ratcliffe would be obligated to sell his shares at the original price of $33 each.

Notably, key decisions for the club, including player transfers and managerial changes involving Erik ten Hag and football director John Murtough, necessitate consultation with Ratcliffe and Ineos.

As part of the agreement, the 71-year-old United fan is entitled to two seats on the club's board, which he will delegate to former Juventus CEO Jean-Claude Blanc and cycling boss Sir Dave Brailsford. Additionally, two seats on the PLC board will be allocated to Ineos Chief Financial Officer John Reece and Ineos Sport Chairman Rob Nevin.

Ratcliffe will also hold the authority to determine whether dividends will be distributed to shareholders over the next three years. Notably, the purchase of Ratcliffe's stake in United is facilitated through the private company Trawlers Ltd, named after Eric Cantona's famous 1995 quote about seagulls, and is funded through Ratcliffe's personal wealth, avoiding the addition of debt to Manchester United.

Also Read: Rasmus Hojlund ends goal drought as challenges persist for Manchester United striker

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