Huge fee Glazers would pay Sir Jim Ratcliffe for terminating Man Utd takeover revealed

Exclusive: The Glazer family agreed to sell a minority share of Manchester United to the British billionaire but are on the hook for a large sum if they change their mind

Richard Jolly
Senior Football Correspondent
Thursday 28 December 2023 05:11 GMT
'Looking forward to it' - Man United's Erik ten Hag keen to work with Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Manchester United and the Glazer family will have to pay Sir Jim Ratcliffe up to $66m if they terminate the agreement for him to take a minority share in the club.

The petrochemicals billionaire reached an agreement to buy a 25 per cent stake in the club for £1.3bn – which will become 29 per cent when his $300m investment into the infrastructure of United is converted into more shares.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals, including from the Premier League, which will take up to eight weeks.

But if United and the Glazer family pull the plug on the deal in the meantime, they will have to pay Sir Jim $48m plus an amount not to exceed $18m to cover his expenses within three business days as a termination fee.

In other clauses of the contract between the various parties, Sir Jim has first option to buy if the Glazers, whose stake will be reduced to 49 per cent of the club, are selling more of their shares within a year.

But if the Glazers conclude a full sale of the club within 18 months, the Ineos boss would be obliged to sell his shares for $33 each, the price he paid for them.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has agreed a deal for a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has agreed a deal for a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United (PA Wire)

United will be unable to complete transfers or to sack manager Erik ten Hag or football director John Murtough without consulting with Sir Jim and Ineos.

The 71-year-old United fan will receive two seats on the board of the club, which he will delegate to former Juventus CEO Jean-Claude Blanc and the cycling boss Sir Dave Brailsford, and two on the board of the PLC, which will go to Ineos chief financial officer John Reece and Rob Nevin, the chairman of Ineos Sport.

Sir Jim, who will have the right to decide if dividends are paid to shareholders in the next three years, is buying his stake in United through a private company, Trawlers Ltd, named after Eric Cantona’s famous 1995 quote about seagulls. He is funding it with his personal wealth, rather than adding debt to United.

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