Leon Cooperman, a former hedge fund manager from the USA has reportedly bought stakes worth ￡13.5 Million in the biggest club of England, Manchester United.
The shock news of Cooperman investment comes as Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the British Billionaire had decided to buy 25% of the club after a long winded sale process that was carried on for almost a year.
Cooperman, 80, founded Omega Advisors which is a private investment partnership based in New York City and has a reported net worth of more than £2 Billion.
However, he is expected to take a much smaller stake than Ratcliffe, meaning the unpopular Glazers of the Raine Group will retain their majority ownership of the club.
Leon Cooperman is said to be a long-standing fan of the football club. In a conference, years ago, he wished to buy stakes in his ‘favourite soccer’ club.
More about Leon Cooperman & Omega Advisors
Leon Cooperman (born April 25, 1943) is an American Billionaire investor and hedge fund manager. He is the chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, a New York-based investment advisory firm managing over $3.3 Billion in assets under management, the majority consisting of his personal wealth.
In 2017 Leon Cooperman had to shut the operations of the hedge fund but soon next year he struck a deal with the SEC and was liable to pay $4.9 Million. He never accepted or denied the wrong-doing charges like insider trading which were stamped on him.
As part of the settlement, Cooperman and Omega agreed to be subject to a compliance monitor with access to their electronic communications and trading records and to submit monthly certifications that they had not engaged in insider trading until 2022.
Ever since the allegations, Leon Cooperman has been slowly shifting all his primary assets and investments to his charitable organisation; as he wishes to donate all his wealth.
The American was born in a Jewish family to a plumber’s family. He grew up in South Bronx, New York City. He was the first in his family to get an undergraduate degree. After completing his graduation from the Hunter’s college he went on to pursue MBA from the Columbia University.
About Omega Advisors
Omega Advisers is a registered investment advisor registered with the SEC (USA Securities and Exchange Commission), they are a full-service investment adviser firm focused exclusively on serving wealthy individuals, families, and institutions.
The company provides an integrated portfolio management solutions for clients seeking superior service and expert advice. As a private and independent firm, they are uniquely positioned to provide access to a broad spectrum of resources from many of the world’s premier research, analytical, asset management, and investment advisory companies.
Why is Manchester United a hotspot for foreign investment?
The football club has always had an unreal pull; be it for players or investors. The rich glory and celebrated heritage is something that is very unique.
Over the years the club has not only invited some exciting talents but has also invited loads of foreign investment. In 2005, the owners of Raine Group, bought the majority of the club.
The reason the Manchester club is always in such hot demand is actually because of its fans. The club can never recur losses in revenue earned from broadcasting and ticket sales which always gives hefty returns.
Because of the rich glory and the very famous Sir Alex Ferguson era, the club has managed to attract and gain many loyal fans across the globe. In fact, Manchester United has the biggest fan base in the world after the Spanish giants, Real Madrid.
Leon Cooperman has invested in the club; but is it a good investment?
The football club recently have gained a lot of wrong attention because of poor management skills within the vicinity.
Over-paying the players, not spending enough on the stadium, Old Trafford and at times having some greed is all Glazers have been accused of.
The selling process which dragged on for almost a year saw a turmoil of emotions from the fans to the club. Crown Prince, Sheikh Jassim of Qatar wished to buy 100% of the club for a reported ￡7-8 Billion.
The offer was rejected more than a couple of times and eventually the Qataris left the race. The fans protested as they understood that Sheikh Jassim was the only chance the club had to catch up with their local rivals, Manchester City, who became the only 2nd English side to win a treble after United in the ’98-’99 season.
As financially, the investment can prove to be rock solid. The money doesn’t stop flowing in this side of Manchester. No matter how poor the ownership is, the fans will turn up to watch their favourite club i.e Manchester United in action.
In fact, the club recently released their financials. Achieved record revenues for fiscal 2023 driven by Commercial and Matchday revenue. Club achieved record ticket sales and attendance, and highest ever number of paid global memberships. Club announced an industry-leading kit deal with adidas through 2035 in August and a new front-of-shirt sponsorship deal with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon brand in September.
Season tickets for the current 2023/24 season sold out at the fastest rate ever with lowest ever churn. Club delivered a successful preseason summer tour with over 400K fans in attendance across 8 cities in 5 countries, including the United States.
Full year 2022/23 progress achieved on pitch with men’s first team – 3rd in Premier League, Champions League qualification, FA Cup finalists, and winners of the Carabao Cup. Full year 2022/23 progress achieved on pitch with women’s first team – 2nd in Women’s Super League, Champions League qualification, FA Cup finalists, and investment in dedicated facilities at Carrington.
Men’s squad strengthened by the recent additions of Mason Mount, Andre Onana, Rasmus Hojlund Jonny Evans and Altay Bayindir, with Sergio Reguilon and Sofyan Amrabat acquired on loan; new long-term contracts signed with Marcus Rashford and Diogo Dalot.
Women’s squad strengthened with new signings Gemma Evans, Geyse Da Silva Ferreira, Emma Watson, Hinata Miyazawa, Evie Rabjohn, Irene Guerrero, Gabby George, Phallon Tullis-Joyce and Melvine Malard on loan. For fiscal 2024, the Company introduces new revenue guidance of a record £650 million to £680 million and new adjusted EBITDA guidance of £140 million to £165 million.
Despite the shaky ownership and the poor form, Leon Cooperman could have made his best investment in terms of Manchester United.