Man United to kick off IPO

Manchester United will kickoff its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange as early as next week.

Manchester United is now looking to raise $300 million on the IPO.

NEW YORK - Football powerhouse Manchester United is expected to launch its IPO in New York as early as next week, for pricing in early August, after earlier attempts in Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK.

The time table marks a change from the original schedule to proceed after the US Labor Day holiday September 3, according to multiple sources close to the situation.

In another change, the football club is now looking to raise US$300 million on the IPO, less than the US$500 million previously contemplated. The decision on timing and sizing is still fluid and could change, depending on the regulatory review process.

Jefferies is lead-left bookrunner in a syndicate that also includes Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank.

The banks plan to benchmark the IPO not only against traditional media entities but iconic consumer-goods companies, in an effort to justify a potentially difficult valuation.

Manchester United has yet to provide audited financial results beyond the fiscal year ended June 2011, instead relying on an exemption as an emerging growth company under the JOBS Act.

Updated results will presumably be forthcoming prior to the official launch IPO. The latest filing, on Monday, provides limited additional disclosure, other than the selection of "MANU" as the club's ticker for a New York Stock Exchange listing.

A dual-class structure, a primary motivation in selecting the NYSE as the listing venue, remains in place, giving Class B shareholders 10 votes in matters of corporate governance, while the Class A public shareholders get one vote.

As long as the B shareholders hold at least 10 percent of outstanding shares, they are entitled to 67 percent voting power.

Dual-class structures are commonplace in the United States - there were 14 IPOs in the United States last year that featured dual-class shares, according to Thomson Reuters data - and Manchester United has fully embraced the provision, no doubt to keep firm control in the hands of owner Malcolm Glazer.