Manchester United ... IPO??

Is this IPO of Manchester United going to be that hot? Latest news from is that Temasek, the Singapore state investment agency, has also been approached to invest in the IPO. No decision has been made, though.

I'll give this IPO a miss, though. Not interested at all.

Despite the buzz surrounding English Premier League champions Manchester United's reported application to list on the Singapore Exchange (SGX), analysts said that the prospect of an IPO does not look "all that attractive".

Investors might be enticed by the 'wow' factor of the world's probably best known football club listing in Singapore, but analysts question whether investing in the club will bring good returns.

Vice President and Head of Research at SIAS Research, Roger Tan, said: "Supporting a football club is different from investing in one. At the end of the day, investors buy Manchester United listings or invest in the club itself for some financial returns.

"They will have to look into the objective of United's listing - their financial statements, balance sheets and profit and loss statements, and we're not going to see a very good number."

He added: "If the club is debt-laden and the objective is to pay off those debts, to me, it's not very attractive."

United, England's most successful club, has plans to apply for a $1 billion initial public offering (IPO) and the proceeds will go towards paring the club's debts as well as grow its business in Asia.

United fans in Singapore, however, are excited at the prospects of "owning a piece of the club".

Some supporters point to the success of United's 500-milion-pound bond issue last year, which was twice oversubscribed.

"The money generated from the IPO could be used to reduce the club's debts or give the manager more funds for purchase of new players, which will make the club stronger on the field or financially to challenge for more trophies," said Jame Lim, a committee member of the unofficial Manchester United Singapore Supporters Club (MUSG) which has nearly 7,000 members.

"Hopefully with the listing, it will mean United will visit Singapore or Asia more often, something all its fans will be looking forward to," added Lim.

When contacted by Channel NewsAsia, both the SGX and Credit Suisse - said to be the global coordinator for the deal - declined comment.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Man Utd's IPO not "all that attractive", say analysts".

English Premier League football club Manchester United may start gauging investor demand next month for a US$1 billion (S$1.2 billion) initial public offering in Singapore, people familiar with the situation said yesterday. The football club will also hold a presentation for the deal to analysts next week, sources said.

United has hired Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse Group to help manage the IPO, sources said. BOC International, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, CIMB Group Holdings and DBS Group have also joined as co-leads.

United plans to use some of the proceeds from the IPO to reduce its debt, sources said, which stood at £478 million (S$955 million) at the end of March. The club also recorded a net loss of £84 million last year.

Some Singapore-based analysts have questioned the value of the listing.

SIAS Research managing director Roger Tan said: "Ultimately you want to make financial gains out of an investment. If the investment is not going to give you any potential returns, and on top of that it's going to make losses, I think investors will take a good look and say to give it a miss. They'll be able to get the funds but I think the challenge is keeping the share price hot."

From Today, "Manchester united said to prepare Singapore IPO for September".


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