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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 June, 2005, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Q&A: What next in Glazer takeover?
Man Utd fans protesting
Many fans have hung on until the bitter end

US sports tycoon Malcolm Glazer has been steadily buying up blocks of Manchester United shares over the past months, and has passed a number of major ownership landmarks.

Now he has passed the crucial figure which gives him complete ownership of the club.

Why is the latest development so important - given that Mr Glazer already owns most of the club?

Mr Glazer has said he now owns 98% of Manchester United's total shareholding.

That development means he has now passed the 97.6% shareholding level needed to gain complete control of the club.

At the new level of ownership, the few remaining shareholders can be forced to sell their stake to him.

So that's it, they have to hand over their shares?

Mr Glazer has indicated he is extending his 3-a-share offer for the time being. So the people who own the remaining 2% of the club can still sell at the same conditions as everybody else.

His bid vehicle Red Football said in a statement on Tuesday: "The offer will remain open for acceptance until further notice."

However he appears determined to gain the 100% shareholding, even if it takes the summer months to secure the total.

What are the regulations on this?

According to UK Takeover Panel rules Mr Glazer can extend his offer for the remaining shares for as long as he likes, and as many times as he likes.

New offer periods could be anything from one day to "indefinitely".

However if he makes an indefinite offer, he would have to give 14 days' notice that it was ending.

But why would he want to bother to get the last few shares?

Owning all the shares would mean Mr Glazer would not have to hold an open Annual General Meeting or answer questions from any other shareholders.

And Manchester United would also not have to write a glossy annual report and post it to outside shareholders any more.

The costs for the AGM would also disappear.

What does complete control mean?

Any dividends paid by Manchester United would go to his Red Football vehicle - used to buy the club.

Meanwhile, United's annual general meeting (AGM) would be attended just by his family and club directors.

In the unlikely event he does not press on for 100% control, what rights would minority shareholders have?

They would have a life on the sidelines, at least as far as running the company is concerned.

Now that United shares have been delisted from the London Stock Exchange, any buying or selling of shares will have to be done privately.

Red Football owns or has received valid acceptances of the offer in respect of... approximately 98% of the issued share capital of Manchester United
Red Football statement

However, die-hard opponents of Mr Glazer would be content to remain "a thorn in the side" of the American billionaire.

Those holding any remaining shares could attend AGMs, at which they could express their points of view, and they would get a copy of the annual report.

However, the AGM can be held wherever the Glazers want it to be held.

Minority shareholders would have to share any dividend paid by the club, should the Glazers decide to pay one.

What does Shareholders United say?

Its position remains that if fans do want to sell shares to Mr Glazer, then they should consider putting the earnings from that sale into a "phoenix fund" .

The fund would be used to buy back the club should the Glazers consider selling in coming years.




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