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Manchester United to float shares on US stock market

The Red Devils are hoping to pay down debt through the use of an Initial Public Offering which the owners believe can capitalise on the popularity of the club's global brand

Manchester United are set to float $100 million (£63.8m) worth of shares on the U.S. stock market as part of an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

The Red Devils are currently privately owned by American millionaires the Glazer family, who took control in a £790m takeover in 2005.

However, the club have revealed that their debts currently stand at £423m as of March 2012, a figure which the Glazers will hope to drastically reduce by taking this step.

The club have expressed their intention to offer Class A shares for sale whilst the American owners will retain all Class B shares - which entitle them to 10 times as much voting power on the board.

The move will also see the club become the subsidiary of a new holding company based in the tax haven the Cayman Islands.
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Through their stock sale prospectus, the Old Trafford hierarchy have insisted that the club's iconic global image will be key in attracting potential investment.

"We intend to use all of our net proceeds from this offering to reduce our indebtedness,” the prospectus stated.

"Our 134-year history, our success and the global popularity of our sport have enabled us to become what we believe to be one of the world's most recognizable brands.

“We enjoy the support of our global community of 659 million followers.

“The composition of our follower base is far-reaching and diverse, transcending cultures, geographies, languages and socio-demographic groups, and we believe the strength of our brand goes beyond the world of sports.”

The sale of club shares is expected to take place later this summer.

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