Manchester United want to benefit from Chelsea’s sale

Chelsea Football Club has so far attracted around 30 reputable syndicates, one of which has submitted a $4.8 billion bid

Chelsea Football Club has so far attracted around 30 reputable syndicates, one of which has submitted a $4.8 billion bid

The pending sale of Chelsea Football Club will prompt investors to reassess the value of Manchester United after a sharp fall in shares of the English Premier League rivals, according to Canadian fund manager Crimson Asset Management Ltd.

As many as 30 bidders could make indicative bids for Chelsea, a person familiar with the situation told Bloomberg News. The club, owned by sanctioned Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, are looking for at least £3 billion ($3.9 billion).

That’s nearly double Manchester United’s $2.1 billion market value, which is trading near a record low after falling 29% over the past six months. The lower reading is unjustified given shifting demand for sports broadcasting rights as tech giants offer to add live events to their streaming services, said Ken Jesudian, Crimson’s chief executive officer. His Toronto-based company bought a position at Manchester United last year.

“I think it will surprise people what they get for it, even if it’s forced,” Jesudian said of the Chelsea sale. Professional football is “a business that has changed tremendously and there are very few opportunities to actually go to the source and own part of an iconic sports franchise.”

Abramovich has no choice but to sell Chelsea after the British government sanctioned him following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Raine, a New York-based investment bank, is soliciting the first round of bids on Friday.

Describing Manchester United as a unique asset, Jesudian said its revenue growth potential will be driven largely by huge shifts in the media landscape — as seen in Apple’s deal this month to stream Major League Baseball games, the iPhone maker’s first major foray into Live -Sports broadcast.

“This is Manchester United. It’s a beach property,” said Jesudian, whose small-cap-focused Crimson Capital Growth Fund has returned 15.2% annualized since inception through Dec. 31.

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