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Carlyle interested in Manchester United stake: how much are they willing to put into the Premier League club?

The Glazer family, the current United owners, have been criticised over their handling of the Premier League club’s possible sale.

The Glazer family, the current United owners, have been criticised over their handling of the Premier League club’s possible sale.
LEE SMITHAction Images via Reuters

Another twist in the possible - or possibly not - takeover of Premier League giants Manchester United. It has been revealed by British broadcaster Sky News that American financial investor Carlyle, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, is interested in acquiring a minority stake in the Red Devils. A ‘minority’ stake but ‘major’ investment.

Several parties interested in minority stake

Sky News City editor Mark Kleinman has reported that a number of parties have made similar types of proposal to the club’s current owners, the Glazer family, who have set a final deadline of Friday 28 April for concrete offers. It appears that only Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, the man fronting the Qatari bid to buy United, and Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the chairman and CEO of chemicals company INEOS, are willing to either buy the club outright or a majority stake.

How much is Carlyle worth? How much would they put into United?

Carlyle are thought to have assets of over $370 billion under their management and the company’s net worth is estimated at around $11 billion. While Sky sources claim that the firm’s interest is “serious” and that discussions with the Glazer family had been taking place for “some time”, it is not known at this stage how much they would be willing to put into the club or how the deal would be structured.

Possible United sale a “farce”

The Glazers have come under huge criticism for their handling of the whole situation, with uncertainty over whether they are looking to sell United, attempting to attract outside investment or even staging a fake auction in an effort to revalue the club.

Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus, the founder and chairman of investment company XXI Century capital, withdrew his bid his bid last week, saying the whole process had turned into a “farce” and that the drawn-out process would make it very difficult for any new owner to build a winning team for next season”.

When is the deadline for offers for United?

Raine Group, the American bank overseeing the sale, have set several deadlines so far and the way things are going, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see the saga rumble on past 28 April.