The world’s richest person created a stir in the sports world when he tweeted that he would be buying one of the most valuable and recognizable soccer teams in the world.
What Happened: Tesla Inc. TSLA CEO Elon Musk suggested on Twitter Inc. TWTR Tuesday night that he could be buying English Premier League team Manchester United MANU.
The team is one of a handful of professional sports teams that are publicly traded.
While Musk later clarified that he was joking, investors could have the last laugh with rumors of a sale heating up once again.
Meanwhile, Musk did show some love for Manchester United:
No, this is a long-running joke on Twitter. I'm not buying any sports teams.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 17, 2022
“Although, if it were any team, it would be Man U. They were my fav team as a kid,” Musk tweeted.
The tweet wasn’t the first time Musk has joked about buying a public company with a tweet. Earlier this year, he suggested he would buy Coca-Cola KO.
Musk, who is worth $267 billion, has no interest in acquiring a sports team at this time, unlike some other wealthiest people. Coincidentally enough, Musk was worth more than all the MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL teams combined at one point in October 2021.
What’s Next: Prior to Musk’s tweet, rumors of a sale of Manchester United had started to circulate in the United Kingdom.
Agent Jon Smith said he believed Manchester United would be sold “within the next 24 months. There are people circling,” according to TalkSport.
Reporter Luca Bonaiti tweeted on August 9 that a sale could happen soon.
“For the first time in 17 years, the Glazers are open to selling United if they fail to get UCL again this year since 2005 the Glazers have never been this open to selling before. Some people/groups are already ‘very interested’ in buying the club,” Bonaiti said, referencing the Glazer family that owns the team and has been reluctant to sell.
Manchester United correspondent for GOAL James Robson also highlighted a potential sale on Twitter.
“I’ve been told it would take around six billion British pounds to buy United. Chelsea were 4.25 billion British pounds with vastly smaller stadium and commercial appeal,” Robson said.
Robson shared a GOAL story of Michael Knighton, who previously tried to buy the team and could be back in the picture again. Knighton said a new bid would come in higher than Chelsea’s sale to Todd Boehly.
“I’ve got some good pledgers with good finance,” Knighton said. “We are now working on the offer document. It is a hostile bid.”
Manchester United launched a Fans’ Advisory Board and announced discussions oof offering shares to the Manchester United Supporters Trust in 2021, two moves seen as precursors to offer ownership to fans.
Rumors of a Manchester United bid may have investors circling the stock and options. Unusual Whales noted some unusual options activity over the last several trading sessions.
Manchester United Valuation: A potential sale of Manchester United will be closely watched by soccer fans and investors alike. A sale could significantly increase the value of Manchester United shares, which went public in 2012 at $14 a share.
The company is valued at a market capitalization of $2.1 billion and an enterprise value of $2.7 billion.
Estimates from Forbes and Sportico value Manchester United at $4.6 billion and $4.7 billion respectively.
Robson puts a potential sale price for Manchester United at 6 billion British pounds, or around $7.24 billion.
No matter how its sliced, a sale of Manchester United will likely come in above the share price and come closer to the Forbes and Sportico valuations or above.
EPL team Chelsea was recently sold to Todd Boehly for $3.2 billion marking the largest sports team sale ever. Chelsea was valued at $3.2 billion and $3.4 billion by Forbes and Sportico respectively prior to the sale.
Several other large soccer teams trade OTC including Juventus FC JVTSF, Borussia Dortmund BORUF and AFC Ajax AFCJF. A sale of Manchester United could spark other sales of top teams in Europe.
Benzinga previously reported that a partnership with Tezos and a return to the Champions League were two items that could boost Manchester United’s revenue and share price going forward. The team failed to qualify for the Champions League after falling to sixth place to end the 2021-2022 season.
The team is off to a rough start in the 2022-2023 EPL season losing its first two games, which has sparked further fan unrest and could expedite a sale.
MANU Price Action: Manchester United shares are up 1% to $12.94 at the time of writing. Shares spiked above $14 in pre-market trading Wednesday.
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