Baron Capital, an American investment firm, have now bought 24% of all Manchester United shares sold by the Glazer family in 2012, according to The Guardian.
The Glazers, Manchester United owners, only released 10% of the club onto the stock market two years ago, and still retain the vast majority of shares.
According to the report, United share prices has been slowly rising despite the club’s poor performances on the pitch, with the expected announcement of a new world-record kit deal with Nike clearly having an impact.
Baron Capital now owns 9,581,636 United shares, which were worth $151m (£90m) at the close of the market on Monday.
Manchester United are struggling badly this season and may miss out on the Champions League spot. The poor on-pitch performances has had an impact on the share market as well, but Baron Capital remains positive about United’s future. They said on their website:
“Shares of Manchester United dropped … due to a delay in the signing of a new global merchandise deal with Nike and the team’s poor performance on the field. The Nike deal is still expected to be signed, but has been pushed out from this fiscal year. We remain positive on the company’s prospects going forward.”
London based financial analyst Andy Green believes the move by Baron Capital appeared to be purely an investment strategy and was not the start of a takeover bid.
Green, who writes a blog on football finance and advises the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, said:
“This is absolutely not the start of any takeover. You could buy all the shares available on the stock market and you would still only have 10% of the club and about 1.3% of the votes. I am sure they are looking at the investment opportunities and rumours of the new Nike deal. They have a reputation as a long-term investment company.”
The club hope this will reduce injury rehabilitation time for their players. New scanning equipment has been installed which has been provided by club sponsor, Toshiba.