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 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...
£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...