The mutual fund company Ariel Investments has increased its stake in the English soccer giants Manchester United to 13.8 per cent after completing a purchase of Class A shares, according to reports by ESPN.
The reports suggest that the increase in stake is valued at US$100 million and the mutual fund company had acquired shares directly through the club’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The club’s owners, the Glazer family, have not traded any of their shares.
The Glazers had taken control of the Premier League club in 2005 through leverage buyout for UK£750 million. They own virtually all of United’s B class shares which carry voting rights, as opposed to the class A shares.
With the increase in its stake, the Chicago-based mutual fund company takes its stake beyond the five per cent mark in the club.
The deal comes in continuation with the club’s decision to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo from the Serie A club Juventus.
After his successful stint with Real Madrid and Juventus, Ronaldo is back to the Premier League club, where he is set to provide a lot of benefits to the club both on and off the pitch.
Ever since the announcement of Ronaldo to be wearing his legendary number 7 jersey at the club, his shirt sales have already broken many sales records.
It is reported that the club has sold between 295,500 shirts and 406,250 shirts in 12 hours and has become the Premier League’s top-selling jersey.
It would be a good financial boost for the club as Manchester United would reportedly be earning £2 million from Ronaldo’s shirt sales.
Another reason that might be behind the mutual company’s increased stake in the club would be the rise in stock value of the club since the return of Ronaldo. There was a sudden rise of 5.8% in the club’s stock price when the Portugal legend was signed.