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Sunday, Feb 07, 2016
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Billionaire Soros buys into Glazers' Manchester U. soccer club


Billionaire financier George Soros is getting in on the game, taking a minority stake in the Manchester United soccer club owned by the Glazer family, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Soros disclosed in a regulatory filing on Monday that he owns 7.85 percent of Manchester United's Class A shares. The filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was made by Soros' hedge fund, Soros Fund Management LLC.

The 134-year-old English Premier League soccer club recently went public on the New York Stock Exchange. The Glazers have voting control through Class B shares that have 10 times the voting power of the stock sold to the public.

Malcolm Glazer is CEO of First Allied Corp., a holding company with numerous business interests. His sons Avram and Joel are co-chairmen of Manchester United.

While Manchester United has rabid fan support, it did not receive as hearty of a welcome on the public stock market. Its debut over a week ago was considered disappointing, with enthusiasm for the celebrated team overshadowed by its debt load and financial track record. Manchester United carried $666.2 million in debt as of March 31. It had no debt when the Glazers bought it in 2005.

Manchester United's stock closed at $14 on its first trading day, valuing the club at $2.3 billion, slightly higher than the record $2 billion paid for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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