Is £157bn Elon Musk looking at making a move on Man United as the bidding deadline nears? Tesla and Twitter owner is monitoring the situation, but will he find £4.5bn opportunity difficult to resist?
- Elon Musk is believed to be interested in making a £4.5bn move to buy Man Utd
- Musk, who’s fortune stands at £157bn, is one of a select few who can afford them
- And with the deadline for bids approaching, it may be difficult for Musk to resist
Elon Musk likes money and madness. He also likes Manchester United – and is one of a select few who could afford to buy them.
According to sources, the tech-billionaire is believed to be monitoring the situation closely, and wondering if there is an opportunity at Old Trafford that he should not miss.
With Friday’s deadline for bids rapidly approaching – is the man Forbes rank as the second-richest in the world about to make his move for the football club they have crowned the biggest?
While associates of the Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX supremo will not comment on any possible interest, sources close to the deal are aware of his attention.
Dozens, it is understood, have expressed an interest and signed confidentiality agreements allowing them to gain access to the ‘data room’.
Elon Musk is believed to be interested in making a £4.5billion move to buy Manchester United
Among those, are a number of parties from Saudi Arabia, independent of those who own Newcastle United. Should they decide to launch a bid they may well need a dynamic figurehead to front it.
Few would carry the weight of Musk – who already sent his own platform into meltdown when he tweeted that he was going to buy United, before later saying that it was a joke.
At the last count, his fortune was estimated at £157billion. His pockets are deep enough and he certainly has the clout. On Twitter, United boast 34.9m followers. Musk has 128.9m.
We have, kind of, been here before. In August, with United fans planning a protest against the Glazer family ahead of a home clash with Liverpool and the reign of Erik ten Hag off to a sluggish start, Musk posted: ‘Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome’.
Manchester United’s owners, the Glazers (pictured) are prepared to sell the club
The Glazers are looking for around £6bn and some are valuing the club at around £4.5bn
According to sources, the tech-billionaire is believed to be monitoring the situation closely
For some United fans, it was music to their ears. And while he subsequently explained that he was making a joke, that reaction will not have gone unnoticed.
Musk later added: ‘Although, if it were any team, it would be Man U. They were my fav team as a kid.’ It is easy to believe.
Musk was born in South Africa and remained there until the age of 18. He will have witnessed first-hand United’s global reach.
As the owner of Twitter, he will also have seen that few entities create the clicks, hysteria and interest that emerges from Old Trafford. In that aspect, they are like no other.
He will also be well aware of the power United have in Manchester and well-beyond.
Indeed a new project – and the opportunity to eventually make even more money – may be difficult to resist. The six months that followed his gag have not been kind.
The Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX supremo has a fortune estimated at £157billion
Last month, according to the Guinness World Records, Musk broke the world record for largest loss of personal fortune in history, with an approximate drop of £150bn since November.
That was put down largely to the poor performance of Tesla stock. Regardless, with the Glazers looking for around £6bn and some valuing the club at around £4.5bn, the price of United – and additional £2bn to redevelop or build a new Old Trafford would be well within reach.
Paired with Saudi investors, it becomes even more attainable. It is an intriguing prospect. There are few for whom the prospect is a reality.
Anything north of £3.76bn – the price paid for the NFL’s Denver Broncos last year – would make United the most expensive sports team in the world. Surpassing such a figure for a full sale is inevitable.
The world’s richest man tweeted Tuesday in what appeared to be a tongue-in-cheek comment
In August, Musk joked he was buying United but the reaction has not gone unnoticed
Anything north of £3.76bn would make United the most expensive sports team in the world
Sportsmail last week revealed that a group of Qatari individuals will lodge their own bid. They are working ‘around the clock’ according to sources and are ‘confident’ that theirs will be the strongest package.
When it comes to opposition, there are expected to be four other contenders. One of those is Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
The United supporter and Ineos boss has already announced his intentions and has lined up banks to back his bid.
Ratcliffe’s fortune was listed at £21bn in 2018 and his interests continue to perform well. Other interest comes from the US and Asia.
Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe is one of the bidders prepared to rival offers for United
Should Musk decide to get involved it would change the game. It would also – if his short time so far at Twitter is anything to go by – be well worth watching.
Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and other tech billionaires are the subject of a number of new novels, with authors fascinated by their rise to the top of the planet’s rich lists.
His next story, however, may be the most fascinating yet.
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