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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
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George Soros Buys Stake in Manchester United

August 21, 2012 | About:
George Soros bought 3,114,588 shares of Manchester United (NYSE:MANU), the British soccer team, on August 9 at an average price of $14.15 per share, according to GuruFocus Real Time Picks. That amounts to a 7.85% ownership of the 134-year-old team’s class A shares by the billionaire financier who made his initial fortune shorting the British pound.

Manchester United held its IPO earlier this month, offering 16.67 million shares at $14 each and raising $233.2 million. The offering valued the company at approximately $2.3 billion. The company planned to use the net proceeds from the offering to pay down debt. Since the IPO, the stock price has declined almost 6%.

Financially, the soccer team has been growing, with revenue increasing for the last three consecutive years. In 2011, the team pulled in 331 million, compared to 286 million pounds in 2010. Fiscal year 2012, however, is expected to decrease 3 to 5% from last year to 315 to 320 million pounds.

There are currently about 25 sports teams that offer stock in their companies. Manchester United was purchased by Malcolm Glazer, an American businessman, in 2005 via his Red Football parent company through taking on approximately 660 million pounds in debt. Glazer also owns controlling stakes in the football team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

George Soros also released his second-quarter purchases last week, which revealed new stakes in Walmart (NYSE:WMT), NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP), EQT Corp. (NYSE:EQT) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS). See his portfolio here.

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