Manchester United approves $35m share buyback scheme

Manchester United announced today that its board of directors has authorised a share repurchase programme for up to $35m of its Class A ordinary shares, effective immediately.

It said purchases of Class A ordinary shares may be made in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions or otherwise.

Today’s announcement confirmed that the company will not purchase any shares from members of the Glazer family, who bought United in 2005, as part of this programme.

When the Glazers registered United in the Cayman Islands and floated the club on the New York stock exchange in 2012, they split the club into two sets of shares, A and B.

They hold all the B shares, which are not listed on the stock exchange but do accrue dividend payments and have 10 times the voting rights of the A shares.

Announcing second quarter results last month, the Old Trafford club revealed that total turnover for the six months to December 31, 2019, was £303.8m, compared with £343.6m the previous year, a fall of 11.6%, largely due to the club’s absence from this season’s Champions League competition.

However, pre-tax profits of £54.274m for the six month period compared with £46.396m a year ago.

Net debt, as of December 31, 2019, was £391.3m, an increase of £73.6m over the year, primarily due to an overall decrease in cash and cash equivalents. The gross US Dollar debt principal remains unchanged.