English football team Manchester United is seeking to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering in the United States, potentially boosting its war chest to go after top players.
The Telegraph reported today that Manchester United would use the proceeds of the share sale to reduce the club’s debt, which stood at 423.2 million pounds ($660 million) at the end of March.
The money would also deepen the pockets of the 134-year-old club to buy top players and coaches in the sport, according to documents filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
The 19-times English Premier League champions, whose past players include George Best, Bobby Charlton and David Beckham, lost the title this year to Manchester City, which is backed by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi.
"In the Premier League, recent investment from wealthy team owners has led to teams with deep financial backing that are able to acquire top players and coaching staff, which could result in improved performance from those teams in domestic and European competitions," Manchester United said in its SEC filing.
Forbes estimates Manchester United is the most valuable sports team in the world at $2.24 billion, $385 million more than the New York Yankees or Dallas Cowboys.
Reuters reported that the American Glazer family, which owns the club, would maintain the lion's share of voting rights.
Details on the timing of the float or the exact size were not provided in the IPO prospectus.