Fresh twist over Manchester United takeover

American billionaire Leon Cooperman has purchased around a million Manchester United shares despite Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s imminent purchase of a stake.

The former hedge fund manager, who has a net worth of an estimated £2 billion ($2.6bn), has bought a late stake in the Old Trafford club, Bloomberg reports. He has spent around £13 million ($16.8m) to acquire the shares. A number of hedge funds have bought shares in the club over the last year ahead of the takeover, with the likes of Psquared Asset Management AG and Antara Capital each getting a stake.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is expected to finalise his purchase of a minority stake in United. The head of the INEOS group was in competition with Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani to takeover the club. However, the Qatari bid was withdrawn, paving the way for Ratcliffe to complete his minority takeover.

Ratcliffe initially wanted to buy full ownership of United from the Glazer family, but the Americans are set to hold on to a majority share in the club, with the British billionaire settling for 25 percent for a reported £1.3bn ($1.6bn). He is expected to take control of footballing decisions and is reportedly eager to expand the capacity of Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe’s purchase of a stake in United is expected to be ratified in the near future as he looks to spark a revolution at Old Trafford and lead the club back to the top of English football.