Malcolm Glazer built a multi-billion-dollar fortune through the clever use of debt.
But now, his fondness for debt may be growing into a liability.
Glazer, the 84-year-old retail and sports billionaire, achieved a new milestone today with the initial public offering of Manchester United, the fabled British soccer club. Glazer purchased the team in 2005 for about $1.4 billion, and today’s offering values the team at more than $2 billion.
Yet the IPO also highlights the high levels of debt Glazer put on Manchester United. It also adds to criticism that the Glazer family has been extracting value from the team, rather than growing it through investment and added capital. (Click here to tell us whether you like Man U as a stock.)
The Glazer’s 2005 purchase saddled Manchester United with more than $600 million in debt. Half of the proceeds raised from today’s IPO will go toward paying down the team’s debt, which the Glazer family has repeatedly said is manageable. The other half will go to the Glazer family.
Investors have been lukewarm to the IPO, in part because of the debt issues. The stock has been stuck today at around its $14-a-share opening – well below the target price of $16-$20 that was floated to investors in the weeks before the IPO.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page