Sir Jim Ratcliffe may be forced to sell his Manchester United shares by the Glazer family as soon as next year despite his long-term goal of completing a full-scale takeover of the club.
Ratcliffe’s £1.3 billion purchase of 25 percent of United has not even been rubber-stamped by the Premier League yet, with formality checks still ongoing, and a deal is expected to be formally completed on February 13th.
A report from The Times showed clauses in the tender offer, submitted this week, which states that the Glazer family cannot solicit or encourage new offers for the club for 18 months once the deal is complete.
However, after the 18-month period, the American family can sell the club outright to any interested party, including deals which would require Ratcliffe to sell his shares to seal a complete takeover.
The tender document states: For so long as the Glazer parties are the majority holder, following the date that is 18 months after the closing date and in connection with any sale of the entire company, the Company Board may require the Trawlers party to sell all of their company ordinary shares and take such other actions as are reasonably necessary to effect the full sale.”
It added that the Glazers cannot ‘directly or indirectly initiate, solicit, encourage, facilitate, participate in, enter into, approve, consummate or otherwise support any full sale prior to…12 months after the closing date’, however, fresh takeover talks can take place should Ratcliffe give explicit permission.
The conditions behind Ratcliffe’s takeover
Ratcliffe’s arrival was announced by United on December 24th, with it being revealed that the billionaire had given the club a deadline of Christmas Day.
However, with his takeover not official until it is ratified by the Premier League, the 71-year-old has spent his time watching games at Old Trafford and visiting the club’s training ground until he can formally begin work.
Ratcliffe is hopeful he can eventually transition into a full takeover of United, with the Glazers looking to remain at the club in the short-term.
The INEOS CEO would have to match the highest bid or lose his stake in the club should the Glazers decide to sell to another party after the 18-month break, with Ratcliffe entitled to receive at least $33 a share – the same amount he is due to pay.