Sources: Man Utd bidders get deadline extension

Bidders for Manchester United have been given extra time to make their offers, sources have told ESPN.

The Raine Group, the merchant bank handling the process for current owners the Glazer family, initially set a deadline of 9 p.m. UK time Wednesday for second bids.

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However, an extension was granted by Raine to some potential buyers late on Wednesday leading most interested parties to take the opportunity to “fine tune” their offers.

Sources close to the consortium led by Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim insist they were prepared to bid before the original deadline and remain ready to submit their offer once a new deadline is set by Raine.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, chairman and CEO of chemical company INEOS, will also meet the new deadline, according to sources close to his bid.

Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are the only two bidders to make their interest public but sources have told ESPN that other groups have expressed significant interest and are expected to submit offers.

There is also interest from a number of U.S.-based hedge funds, including Elliott Investment Management, in making a minority investment.

The Glazers announced in November they were looking at “strategic alternatives” including investment or a full sale.

Once the new bids are received, interested parties are not expecting an immediate response while the Glazers and Raine decide on their next steps. Sources have told ESPN that Raine could nominate one group as the “preferred bidder” or invite a third round of offers.

United staff, according to sources, have been told to expect “clarity” on the club’s ownership situation by the end of the season.


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