NEW YORK — The world’s most popular sports team is ready to list its stock on the world’s largest exchange.
British soccer club Manchester United priced its initial public offering at $14 per share on Thursday. That’s below the $16 to $20 per share price range that had been widely anticipated.
The team will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday as it tries to pay off debt piled on the club in its 2005 takeover.The 134-year-old club, with a record 19 English championships, is one of the most well-known teams on the planet.
‘‘It’s really trading on the level of fan interest as opposed to any sort of financial interest,’’ said Sam Hamadeh, chief executive of PrivCo LLC. ‘‘A winning team does not make a winning investment.’’ Half the 16.7 million shares are being sold by the team, and half by the team’s owner, a company controlled by the Glazer family. The team expects $141 million out of the deal, which it will use to pay down debt.
The family’s 2005 leveraged takeover was valued at $1.47 billion, much of it borrowed.
Manchseter United had no debt when it was bought by the Glazers, a US family that also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.