Sponsored by GM, Manchester United drops Asia IPO for U.S. image

General Motors Co has signed on as the automotive sponsor of the world’s most popular soccer club, Manchester United, in an attempt to cement Chevrolet as a global brand.

And now, looks like Manchester United is closing even more to the United States.

The soccer club was considering an initial public offering in the United States instead of Singapore, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Manchester United’s decision is particularly bad news for Singapore, where motor racing company Formula One delayed its planned $3 billion IPO in June, sources told Reuters.

United’s plans were at an early stage and no final decision had been made, these people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, expected to be the underwriters of the deal in Singapore, all declined to comment.

“This could have negative implications for Singapore’s aim to build a cluster of international sports names listed here,” said Ng Soo Nam, Singapore-based chief investment officer at Nikko Asset Management Asia Ltd., which oversees about $165 billion.

“Such listings would have helped broaden the breadth of the Singapore market.”

The club, which declined to comment, originally planned to list in Hong Kong. However, this was moved to Singapore amid suggestions that the Hong Kong exchange’s IPO rules would have proved too onerous for United.
However, Formula One — majority-owned by CVC Capital Partners — would go ahead with the estimated $2.5 billion IPO later this year, Dow Jones reports.