1million shares in Man Utd ‘snapped up’ by billionaire and ex-hedge fund manager

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    An American billionaire has bought just under a million shares in Manchester United, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe's minority ownership stake still waiting to be confirmed.

    Leon Cooperman, 80, has splashed £13.5million on the shares, as per a recent filing. The former hedge fund manager is the founder of New York-based Omega Advisors and has an estimated net worth of over £2billion.

    The purchase, which will give Cooperman roughly a 2% stake in the club comes amid reports that INEOS owner Ratcliffe is closing in on a deal to acquire a 25% stake in United. The Glazer family have been entertaining bids since putting the club up for sale 12 months ago.

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    Initially, Ratcliffe and Qatari Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani were competing for an all-out takeover, but the Glazers appeared reluctant to sell, resulting in the latter pulling out the race. This allowed Ratcliffe to negotiate feely with the much-maligned owners, and a deal to allow the British billionaire to buy a minority stake for around £1.4bn was agreed.

    However, the deal is yet to be announced amid reports the two parties are still thrashing out a number of minor details. It's understood Ratcliffe wants total control of footballing matters when he arrives, despite agreeing to buy just 25% of the club.

    MAN UTD FANS: What do you make of this news? Let us know in the comments section below.

    Where Cooperman's purchase will leave Ratcliffe's bid isn't clear at the moment, but United fans will hope it doesn't lengthen an already drawn-out takeover process which is stretching into its second year.

    A graduate of Columbia University, Cooperman got a job at Goldman Sachs and worked his way up to become chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He left after 25 years with the company before establishing private investment firm, Omega Advisors.

    He retired in 2016 but has remained philanthropically active in the years since.

    More to follow…

    • Manchester United FC
    • Premier League

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