American billionaire Leon Cooperman has reportedly bought just under a million shares in Manchester United.
Bloomberg have reported that Cooperman – a former hedge fund manager – has bought shares worth £13.5 million in the club.
The shock news of Cooperman’s investment comes as Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s deal to buy 25 percent of the club for £1.3 billion is nearing completion following a drawn-out sales process that began last November.
Ratcliffe and Qatari Royal Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani were the frontrunners in the bidding war, with both sides submitting multiple bids before Jassim withdrew from the process last month.
Cooperman founded Omega Advisors, a private investment partnership based in New York City and with reported assets of more than £2 billion.
American billionaire Leon Cooperman has reportedly bought just under a million shares in Manchester United
However, he is expected to take a much smaller stake than Ratcliffe, meaning the unpopular Glazers will retain their majority stake in the club.
The British billionaire and head of INEOS – who is set to take over the football business at Old Trafford – has a sports empire that includes cycling, rugby and sailing, along with two football teams in Nice, France and Lausanne-Sport, Switzerland. also owns a third of the F1 team Mercedes.
Following news of Cooperman’s investment, United’s share price on the New York Stock Exchange rose about 2.24 percent to $18.60, the highest level since November 3.
United’s stock price rose about 2.24% on Tuesday on the news, to $18.34. That is the highest since November 3.