U.S. investment firm Baron has $150 million Man United stake

LONDON Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:07pm EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. investment group Baron Capital has built up a stake worth about $150 million in English soccer champions Manchester United (MANU.N), it said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

The investment by New York-based Baron represents about 5.8 percent of United's $2.6 billion market value but a dual-share structure means that the American Glazer family remains firmly in control of the club.

It is however a vote of confidence for United in a season in which the team has struggled on the field and risks missing out on a lucrative place in the Champions League for next season.

In its most recent investment guidance, Baron - describing itself as a long-term investor in growth businesses - said it remained positive on United's prospects, citing the possibility of a renewed kit supply deal with U.S. sportswear group Nike

(NKE.N).

United shares closed at $15.84 in New York on Monday, up from a flotation price of $14 in August 2012.

Despite the listing, the Glazers maintain a tight grip on United through the ownership of a separate class of shares with 10 times the voting power of those traded on the stock market.

(Reporting by Keith Weir; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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