Manchester United Stake Netted By Baron
A quarter of all available shares in Manchester United on the New York Stock Exchange have been bought by a US investment firm, it has emerged.
The club's investor relations website confirmed that Baron Capital now owns 24% of the stock, representing a total 2.5% stake in the club.
Analysts saw the purchases as long-term investments rather than any early attempt to potentially buy out the Glazer family, which released 10% of the club to the stock market in 2012 to raise funds.
The Glazers, who purchased United in 2005, still retain a 90% stake.
On its website, Baron said it remained positive on United's prospects, despite a slump in form on the pitch since the departure of club manager Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of the 2012/13 season.
Under his successor, David Moyes, United have fallen out of contention for domestic silverware and are on the verge of elimination in the Champions League after a 2-0 loss to Olympiakos in the first leg of their last 16 tie.
Baron Capital said that reports of a new multimillion-dollar contract with US sportswear manufacturer Nike had encouraged it to increase its stake in the club, despite United's on-pitch troubles.
"Shares of Manchester United dropped ... due to a delay in the signing of a new global merchandise deal with Nike and the team's poor performance on the field," the firm said on its website.
"The Nike deal is still expected to be signed, but has been pushed out from this fiscal year.
"We remain positive on the company's prospects going forward."
Shares in the club were up 0.1% at $15.85 in early Tuesday trading, near three month highs.
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