Want A Piece Of Most Valuable Sports Team?
Want A Piece Of Most Valuable Sports Team?, A soccer squad that’s worth more than the Yankees or the Cowboys just went public. World’s Most Valuable Sports Franchise Goes Public, The history of professional sports franchises issuing shares to the public is short and undistinguished. The Green Bay Packers of the National Football League have technically been public since 1923, though the shares serve a largely ceremonial function and trade on no exchange. The Boston Celtics had a similar share structure though not since 2002.
The game changed today when English Soccer juggernaut Manchester United (MANU) went public today on the New York Stock Exchange. Unlike the Celtics and Packers, MANU is being sold as a full-blown corporation, with all the expectations to go with that designation. Generally regarded as the most valuable sports franchise in the world, “The Red Devils” raised about $235 million by selling 10% of the company – implying the entire organization is worth some $2.3 billion.
Controlled by the Glazer family, the same group that owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Manchester was originally priced at $16 – $20 a share. At that price the team would have been worth more than $3 billion. The price was reduced to $14 last night when no buyers emerged. Even at a discount MANU stock is sitting right at the offering price, a sign that the shares aren’t finding buyers in the market.
An argument could be made that MANU’s cool reception on Wall Street is residual damage from the Facebook (FB) IPO last May, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It could actually be a sign that Main Street has learned its lesson and refused to rush into an overvalued, high-profile issue thrust before them. Anyone who took the time to “look under the hood” of Manchester United found strong fundamental reasons to avoid the shares.