Manchester United, the world's most famous football club, is going public
If there was one thing that Facebook's IPO taught us, it's that just because a company is a popular global brand that your mother talks about, that doesn't make it a stellar investment.
Still, that probably won't stop at least some of the world's sports freaks from throwing their money at much beloved English soccer club Manchester United's proposed public offering. According to reports yesterday, the team's owners have decided to move the franchise's IPO from Singapore to the United States, where investors are more accustomed to the sort of two-tier stock structure management is pushing. (It'd be the same stock model that Facebook used in its big sale).
The Red Devils claim an estimated 330 million (often frighteningly rabid) fans across the globe -- more than the population of the United States. Clearly Manchester's owners are hoping all that enthusiasm translates into a desire for equity.
The idea of a sports team going public might seem foreign to some Americans, but it's not altogether unheard of here in the U.S. The Green Bay Packers issue stock, although it doesn't appreciate and can't be sold. The Boston Celtics have been a public company at various times in their history. So were the Cleveland Indians at one point. But in the end, these were really investments for people who cared more about love of the game than the best place to put their money.