Man Utd on lookout for acquisitions in Far East
Tuesday 15 July 1997
It is believed to be scouring Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia for targets. It would also love to tap into the Chinese market, where it recently went on tour and where the game is rapidly growing in popularity
In the past few weeks United has appointed Hong Kong-based HSBC investment bank as advisers, a move that has been interpreted by observers as a forerunner to acquisitions.
"You don't employ corporate financiers for nothing. You employ them to look for acquisitions. The Far East is an obvious place to look," said one source.
Vinay Bedi, a football analyst with Wise Speke, believes United is most likely to lead the way among British clubs seeking to expand abroad.
"Acquisitions in the Far East are very possible in due course for many of the leading Premiership clubs. I would not be surprised if Manchester United was at the forefront of that initiative," he said yesterday.
United's chief executive, Martin Edwards, has already made it clear that he wants to expand the club's operations in the Far East. He recently employed Peter Kenyon, a former executive at United's kit sponsors, Umbro, as deputy chief executive to oversee global expansion.
The club has just opened an office and shop in China, from where it will co-ordinate its Far East operations. It already has shops in Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, where it is marketing its brands heavily.
If these prove a success it plans to roll out stores across the Far East. Sources suggest buying a club in the Far East would be a natural way to boost merchandise sales in these stores.
"It is no secret that we are interested in the Far East. We are looking at opportunities over there," a spokesman for United said yesterday.
Meanwhile, Mr Edwards has raised more than pounds 2.9m by selling 405,000 shares in the club. Family trusts controlled by Mr Edwards have also sold 500,000 shares for pounds 3.25m. Mr Edwards, who once held 24 per cent of the club, has gradually been reducing his stake over the past few years and now owns less than 15 per cent.
It is understood he sold the shares to satisfy the demand for new stock from one large institution. He is believed to have sold the shares in the family trusts on advice that the trusts' assets were too heavily reliant on United's share price.
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Blogger captures footage ‘showing BUK missile launcher that shot down jet’ now back in Russia
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
iJobs Money & Business
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...
£475 - £525 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Investment Banking, Technical ...
£380 - £480 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - Edinburgh - £380 - ...