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04/07/2012

MUST initial response to planned Manchester United IPO in New York

In response to reports that the Glazers are to revive their failed attempt at a partial flotation of Manchester United - this time on the New York Stock Exchange - a spokersperson for MUST said:

"Until we have more detail it is impossible to say with certainty what this will mean for Manchester United or its supporters. However from the initial information we have it appears that the new A shares on offer will be inferior to the Glazers' own B shares as they will carry only 1/10 of the voting rights. Furthermore the preliminary filing appears to indicate they will not be paying dividends either. So a minority shareholding with inferior voting rights and no dividends is going to severely impact on the attraction to both financial and supporter investors."

"However if it turns out that the vast majority of the proceeds are used to pay off the debt that is certainly something MUST would welcome and entirely vindicates our longstanding position that their debt was damaging our club.  The destination of the funds shows the Glazers have finally conceded this as their filing includes health warnings 'Our indebtedness could adversely affect our health and competitive position ... reduce availability of our cash flow to fund the hiring and retention of players and coaching staff,' adding: 'We intend to use all of our net proceeds from this offering to reduce our indebtedness.' 
 
Notes: 
 
MUST - The Manchester United Supporters' Trust
Our aim is to provide Manchester United fans with the opportunity for mass supporter participation in ownership of their club. This could well be the precursor to such an opportunity and we’d urge every Manchester United supporter who cares about the club to register with the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) through our website. We will provide information to supporters as soon as it is available. 

We’d like to see at least a million Manchester United supporters sharing in ownership of their club and it is our role as the official supporters trust to try to make that possible. Supporters can register for free through www.joinmust.org for information.
 

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