Page 3 Profile: George Soros, billionaire investor


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The Independent Online

The man who broke the Bank of England?

In 1992, Soros successfully bet on the devaluation of the British pound, and bagged himself $1bn (£634m) in the process. He's the world's 22nd richest man, with a personal fortune of $20bn (£12.7bn), and his reputation in the press ebbs violently in response to multi-million dollar charity donations and his bouts of banking villainy. In 2002, for instance, he was convicted of insider trading, but a year later it was revealed he had given away $5bn (£3.2bn) to promote democracy around the developing world.

And what's he up to now?

He purchased a 7.85 per cent stake in Class A Shares in Manchester United. These shares have diminished voting power so his overall stake in the club equates to around 1.9 per cent. The controlling stake still belongs to the Glazer family. Essentially, it's pocket change for Soros.

Then why invest?

He has been interested in sports deals for some time. He was keen to buy the Washington Nationals, a Major League baseball team, in 2005. But his bid didn't go down well – his political views (fiercely anti-Bush, pro drug-decriminalisation) were thought to be too polarising. Analysts suggested that Soros was attracted to Manchester United for its lucrative media rights deals, but perhaps he's simply having fun in his old age. The twice-married 82-year-old recently announced his engagement to Tamiko Bolton, a woman 42 years his junior.