Manchester United considering giving bid exclusivity to Sheikh Jassim – Report

Manchester United considering giving bid exclusivity to Sheikh Jassim – Report

Sources close to Sheikh Jassim have declined to comment on a report that Manchester United are considering granting exclusivity to the Qatari in the race to buy the club.

Sheikh Jassim made a fifth and final bid for the club last week and it is being reported that his offer is viewed more favourably by the club’s owners, the Glazer family, than a rival bid from Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

However, the Sheikh’s team indicated nothing had changed from earlier in the week when a report from Qatar suggesting Sheikh Jassim had won the race to buy United was described as “pure speculation” by one source.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also keen to buy a controlling stake in Manchester United
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also keen to buy a controlling stake in Manchester United (Peter Byrne/PA)

The report on Thursday suggested that, if exclusivity was granted to Sheikh Jassim by the club, it would shut out the Ratcliffe bid for as long as the exclusivity period lasted.

Sheikh Jassim’s bid has always been to buy 100 per cent of the club. It has been reported that Ratcliffe was offering to buy 60 per cent, allowing Avram and Joel Glazer to retain a combined 20 per cent, but the Ratcliffe camp has declined to comment on that point.

Trading in Manchester United shares on the New York Stock Exchange was temporarily paused due to “volatility,” though shares resumed trading shortly afterwards, and were up 12 per cent on the day.

A new company, Nine Two UK Holdings Limited, was also incorporated in the UK on Thursday as part of Sheikh Jassim’s preparations should his bid be successful.

The PA news agency understands the paperwork was submitted months ago, with sources insisting the incorporation was simply part of getting things in order rather than an indication Sheikh Jassim’s offer had been accepted.

Sheikh Jassim wants to buy 100 per cent of Manchester United
Sheikh Jassim wants to buy 100 per cent of Manchester United (Handout from Credit Suisse/PA)

The documents published on the Companies House website list Sheikh Jassim as an individual person with significant control of the company. He is listed as one of two directors, alongside Abdulrahman Abdulla Al Ansari.

Al Ansari is also on the board of the Qatar Chamber, which describes itself as a non-profit public organisation whose mission is to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Qatar.

Companies House says all shares in the new UK company are owned by Nine Two Holdings LLC, which was registered in Qatar in April.

The listing confirms Sheikh Jassim was born in April 1982, making him 41 years old.