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New York-based investment firm BlackRock has acquired 8.21% of the available shares in Manchester United, it emerged on Wednesday.

New York-based investment firm BlackRock has acquired 8.21% of the available shares in Manchester United, it emerged on Wednesday.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, BlackRock said it acquired 3.3 million shares in Manchester United PLC, with the transaction valued at around US$55 million on the club’s current share price. The English Premier League giant’s stock has risen about 35% in the past three months, and at close of trading on Wednesday stood at $16.78 – a 2.69% rise for the day.

The news comes after United this week became the first sports team in the world to be granted a $3 billion valuation by Forbes. The business and financial news publication said it had given the club a revised valuation following the upturn in the performance of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). United’s much-hyped initial public offering (IPO) had made an initially disappointing debut on the NYSE in August with shares failing to rise beyond their base pricing of $14. The IPO saw United’s owners, the Glazer family, sell 10% of their shares in the club. Forbes said the rise of the stock price has pushed up United’s enterprise value, which represents equity plus debt, to $3.3 billion.

BlackRock made the news in May when Formula One’s controlling shareholder CVC Capital Partners announced the sale of a 21% stake in the company for $1.6 billion. BlackRock formed part of a group that acquired the stake, along with asset manager Waddell & Reed and Norway’s Norges Bank.

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