The Qatari businessman, full name Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, has made five bids for the Premier League club, with his fifth and final offering valued at about £5 billion – with an additional £1 billion in investment guaranteed.
He faces competition from British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who, unlike Sheikh Jassim, is only interested in acquiring a controlling stake of more than 50% in the club.
Raine Group, which is arranging the sale on behalf of the Glazer family, has yet to confirm if a bid was successful or even designate a preferred bidder more than eight months after the process began.
The lengthy transaction has fueled speculation that the Glazers may reconsider and retain a controlling share in United.
Stone delivers an update on the Manchester United takeover.
According to BBC journalist Stone, both Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim are still in the running to buy United.
When asked if Ratcliffe was still in the running, Stone replied, “I believe he is.” According to my understanding, nothing is off the table.
“We all get told things, and there can be frustration on either side.” There may be a belief that this will happen or that will happen.
“I heard the other day that Sheikh Jassim was about to leave.” I checked, and it was simply dismissed.
“There are all kinds of rumors, but people can feel whatever they want.” They may become dissatisfied. They may believe they are in the lead or that they are trailing. It all boils down to the Glazers.
“The only thing I would say – and there was a lot of reporting on this – is that when we were nearing the final deadlines, which seems like months ago now, more bids came in from Sheikh Jassim.” That was on Sir Ratcliffe’s back.
“According to my colleague Faisal Islam, Ratcliffe is the ultimate dealmaker.” It depends on how you see Sheikh Jassim, but if you believe he has more financial clout than Jim Ratcliffe, Ratcliffe must strike a deal.
“And he came up with a deal by lowering the amount he wanted to buy at the football club and offering the Glazer family the opportunity to stay while taking over more than 50% of the company so he could be in control.”
“That was seen as a move that propelled Jim Ratcliffe ahead.” This was never challenged, but it is reasonable to presume that Sheikh Jassim has submitted two further bids since the final deadline. You can presume it was correct; otherwise, why would Sheikh Jassim put in another bid?”