United dismiss bid rumours

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The Independent Football

Manchester United yesterday sought to quell speculation about a takeover by the American sports magnate Malcolm Glazer by informing the Stock Exchange that the club's plc had no knowledge of any proposed bid.

"The board wishes to make clear that, as at today's date, it has not received any approach, formal or informal, regarding a possible takeover offer for the company," a plc statement said. "The directors of Manchester United accept responsibility for the information contained in this announcement. To the best of the knowledge and belief of the directors (who have taken all reasonable care to ensure that such is the case), the information contained in this announcement is in accordance with the facts and does not contain anything likely to affect the import of such information."

Both Glazer and Cubic Expression, the investment vehicle of the Irish racing tycoons John Magnier and JP McManus, increased their stakes in United last week, to 16.3 per cent and 28.89 per cent, respectively, fuelling bid speculation. But as The Independent reported yesterday, a decision by the Takeover Panel, a City regulatory body, to declare an "offer period" had begun, had no more significance than highlighting that Glazer had not definitively ruled out a bid.