Exclusive: Manchester United set to kick off IPO
By Stephen Lacey
NEW YORK, July 18 (IFR) - Soccer powerhouse Manchester United is expected to launch its IPO in New York as early as next week, for pricing in early August, after earlier attempts in Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK.
The time table marks a change from the original schedule to proceed after the U.S. Labor Day holiday September 3, according to multiple sources close to the situation.
In another change, the soccer club is now looking to raise $300 million on the IPO, less than the $500 million previously contemplated. The decision on timing and sizing is still fluid and could change, depending on the regulatory review process.
Jefferies is lead-left bookrunner in a syndicate that also includes Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank.
The banks plan to benchmark the IPO not only against traditional media entities but iconic consumer-goods companies, in an effort to justify a potentially difficult valuation.
Manchester United has yet to provide audited financial results beyond the fiscal year ended June 2011, instead relying on an exemption as an emerging growth company under the JOBS Act.
Updated results will presumably be forthcoming prior to the official launch IPO. The latest filing, on Monday, provides limited additional disclosure, other than the selection of "MANU" as the club's ticker for a New York Stock Exchange listing.
A dual-class structure, a primary motivation in selecting the NYSE as the listing venue, remains in place, giving Class B shareholders 10 votes in matters of corporate governance, while the Class A public shareholders get one vote. Continued...