Manchester United preparing IPO in US; is Formula 1 planning the same? image

Manchester United, the world’s best-supported soccer club, is moving ahead with IPO plans for the U.S., selecting a team of bankers to manage the deal.

After first eyeing a Hong Kong IPO, the former English soccer champions had planned a $1 billion listing in Singapore in the second half of last year before putting plans on hold because of market turmoil.

The underwriters will include Jefferies Group Inc. (JEF), Credit Suisse Group (CS) and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), according to a person familiar with the offering. Morgan Stanley (MS), which was originally on the team to bring the deal in Singapore, likely won’t join the U.S. listing syndicate, said a person familiar with the deal.

United has been English league champion a record 19 times and features players such as England’s Wayne Rooney.

The club’s American proprietors, the Glazer family, are well known in the United States as owners of American football team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as First Allied Corp, which owns and leases shopping centers.

A U.S. listing would give the Florida-based Glazers greater operational involvement in an IPO. But a shift from Singapore would deprive the owners of the opportunity fully to exploit the brand in the rapidly growing Asian football market.

On the same time, Auto-racing franchise Formula One recently delayed a planned US$2.5 billion Singapore initial public offering.

Singapore hosts a popular Formula One night race, one of 20 stops on the F1 tour this year, and has a strong fanbase for the sport. But CVC, the F1 owner is un-sure about the future.

“The investment market environment at the moment is rather choppy and outlook seems a little bit uncertain,” said Jason Hughes, head of premium client management at IG Markets Singapore.
“And I think with the headlines that were made from the Facebook IPO… we’re looking at a very challenging environment on the whole for anyone listing.”

Investors will be cautious about buying IPOs all across the region, fund managers said, especially since markets have been hit. The MSCI Asia Pacific index was down 10.1 per cent in May, underperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which has fell just over 6 per cent.

“It’s going to be this year, we said we would do it this year,” Mr Ecclestone said.

Question is – is CVC Capital planning to move the IPO in US? Keep in mind that United States F1 Grand Prix is scheduled to be held later this year at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Teas.