* Club submits application to Singapore Exchange - source
* Credit Suisse appointed global coordinator of deal -
* Proceeds to be used to pay down debt, fund growth - source
(Adds use of proceeds, background)
By Saeed Azhar
SINGAPORE, Aug 18 English Premier League soccer
champions Manchester United have filed a preliminary
application with the Singapore Exchange for a planned listing, a
source with direct knowledge of the deal said on Thursday.
The club, which sources have said hopes to raise as much as
$1 billion from an initial public offering (IPO) by the end of
the year, has appointed Credit Suisse as the global
coordinator of the deal, the source said.
A second source said the owning Glazer family plan to use
some of the funds raised from the offering to reduce the club's
huge debt pile, a burden which has made the Americans deeply
unpopular with many fans.
United's 2010 full-year results showed gross debt attached
to the club of 522 million pounds ($865 million), with a net
loss of 84 million pounds.
The Glazers have been criticised by supporters who are
uncomfortable with the club's debt, despite continued on-field
success, inspiring slogans such as "Love United, Hate Glazer"
brandished by some supporters.
"The proceeds will be used to pay down debt in the business
and further grow its Asia business," a source familiar with the
deal told Reuters.
As with many other English soccer teams, Asia has become an
important growth area for United and is home to more than 190
million of its estimated 333 million fans.
Listing in Singapore could provide a further boost to the
development of the club's Asian fan base and marketing potential
in the region, said Chris Searle, Corporate Finance Partner at
This would be a second stock market incarnation for the
club, which was listed in London before being taken over by the
Glazers in 2005.
More bookrunners are expected to be appointed shortly, with
Morgan Stanley and UBS also in the running,
sources have said.
The Singapore Exchange and Manchester United were not
available to comment.
($1 = 0.604 British Pounds)
(Additional reporting by Kylie MacLellan, Neil Maidment and
Matt Scuffham in London; Editing by Dan Lalor and Hans-Juergen