World famous soccer team Manchester United was planning on going public in Singapore, but has since decided to ditch an Asian IPO for a U.S. listing, according to Reuters’s Daniel Stanton and Fiona Lau.
One of the sources said Manchester United had always planned to position itself as a global media business rather than a sports franchise, suggesting that a US listing would make more sense.
The club’s American owners, the Glazer family, are well known in the US as owners of American football team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as First Allied Corp, which owns and leases shopping centres. Conversely, they are extremely unpopular in the UK, which could have made a London listing difficult.
Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley were expected to be the underwriters for the Singapore IPO, but Reuters states that the lineup may change now that “Man. U” will list in the U.S.
Since Manchester United wants to be recognised more as a media business rather than simply a sports franchise, the listing in the U.S. may help earn a higher valuation.