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Saudi denies MBS bid to buy Manchester United football club

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May on the steps of number 10 Downing Street on 7 March, 2018 in London, England [Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May on the steps of number 10 Downing Street on 7 March, 2018 in London, England [Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia’s Information Minister Turki Al-Shabbana yesterday denied reports that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) was in the running to buy the UK’s Manchester United football club.

News that the Kingdom’s de-facto ruler had put in a $5 billion bid for the club were “completely baseless”, Al-Shabbana said on Twitter.

“Manchester United held a meeting with @PIFSaudi [Saudi Public Investment Fund] to discuss [a] sponsorship opportunity. No deal has […] materialised.”

 

Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) is the world’s tenth-largest sovereign fund, worth some $360 billion, according to the Sovereign Wealth Institute.

Bin Salman reportedly wanted to buy Manchester United to take on rival football club Manchester City, which is owned by Sheikh Mansour of the Abu Dhabi royal family.

The alleged offer to buy Manchester United – one of the richest football clubs in the world – from their current owners the Glazer family, would have seen the club earn an extra $2.8 billion, according to British tabloid the Sun.

Bin Salman is known for his extravagant purchases; in 2016 he bought a $500 million yacht and, a year later, was revealed to be behind a record breaking $450 million auction bid for Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi. In the same month, the pro-austerity crown prince also bought the world’s most expensive home – a newly built $392 million chateau near Versailles in Louveciennes, France.

READ: Saudi seeks to attract $427 bn with industrial programme

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Europe & RussiaMiddle EastSaudi ArabiaUK
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