- Associated Press - Friday, September 16, 2011

SINGAPORE (AP) - Manchester United’s planned $1 billion public offering has been approved by Singapore’s stock exchange, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Friday.

The initial public offering likely will happen by the end of the year and involve ordinary and nonvoting preferred shares, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been officially announced.

Manchester United is owned by the Glazer family of the United States. It has been valued at $1.9 billion by Forbes magazine, which has ranked it as soccer’s most valuable team for the last seven years. However, the club has about $750 million of debt.

The Glazers are expected to maintain control of the defending English Premier League champions but they could raise $1 billion by making between 25 percent and 30 percent of United available.

By listing shares in Singapore, Manchester United is betting that Asians, who account for more than half of the club’s estimated 333 million fans, could be willing to pay more for a piece of their favorite team.

The club was bought by the Glazers for $1.4 billion in 2005 when they de-listed it from the London Stock Exchange.

The Glazers also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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