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Man United's NYSE debut disappoints investors


The IPO priced at $14, below the $16-20 range the club's bankers were seeking

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Manchester United’s float on Friday saw its shares traded at much lower than initially anticipated disappointing investors and shaving as much as $100 million off the proceeds expected for the team and its owners.

The football team’s cut-price flotation on the New York Stock Exchange disappointed on Friday underlining the limited appeal of football’s biggest names for investors.

The IPO priced at $14, below the $16-20 range the club's bankers had been seeking. It valued the 19-times English champions at $2.3 billion.

The offering raised $233 million, to be split equally between the club and its owners, the Florida-based Glazer family, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL team.

The loss of as much as $50 million for the club will be a blow as it copes with a heavy debt burden and seeks to buy new players, who cost tens of millions of dollars each. United had debt of £423 million at the end of March.

The 134-year-old club looked at listing in Singapore and Hong Kong last year to tap into its large Asian fan base but pulled out, blaming volatile markets.

A group of United fans who are campaigning for greater involvement in the ownership of the club jeered the Glazers.

"It would seem all the analysis of the true valuation was correct; the Glazers and their advisors were being far too ambitious - or perhaps greedy - and the true value of the shares should be around $10 rather than the $20 the Glazers were seeking," said Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST).

"It means less money coming into the club to pay down the Glazers' debt and, more annoyingly, the Glazers still take further money out of the club for their own personal means," he added.

MUST is calling for the Glazers to sell up and allow fans to play a greater role in the club's ownership.

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Man United's NYSE debut disappoints investors
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