Manchester United raises $233 million in IPO
CNN — Manchester United and a shareholder who is selling off a stake in the company raised $233 million through an initial public offering that priced after Thursday's closing bell.
The 134-year-old storied British soccer team sold 16.6 million shares at $14 apiece -- below the range at which it planned to offer its shares. The Red Devils, as the club is known, had intended to sell its shares in the $16 to $20 range.
The current pricing values the team at around $2.3 billion.
The team's proceeds will be used to help pay down its debt, which totaled £423.3 million (roughly $662 million in U.S. dollars) as of March 31.
Only about half the shares are being sold by the club. The other half are being sold by the Glazer family, the American owners of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers who bought ManU for $1.47 billion in a debt-financed takeover battle in 2005.
If demand is high enough, the deal's underwriters may sell an additional 2.5 million of the Glazer family's shares.
Manchester United is set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange Friday morning under the ticker "MANU".
The IPO was greeted with a muted reception by large investors.
Investment researchers at Morningstar expected the club would fail to meet its pricing goal. On Thursday, Morningstar noted that despite the team's iconic brand and loyal fans, "the unpredictable nature of sports" will likely undercut Manchester United's ability to provide investors profits consistently.
-- CNNMoney's Chris Isidore contributed
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