'Manchester United Plc, the world's second-largest soccer club by revenue, may follow the lead of rival Arsenal Holdings Plc and sell bonds backed by ticket sales to cut its interest charges.
Deutsche Bank AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc are looking at ways of raising money for United later this year, including a sale of asset-backed bonds, said people familiar with the club's plans who declined to be identified because the discussions are private.
United needs to refinance debt because it's accruing interest as high as 20 percent on loans used by
The club "should dramatically lower debt service charges, assuming they do it right,'' said Stephen Schechter, who has helped
Philip Townsend, director of commu
Manchester United reduced its annual interest costs by 28 million pounds when it refinanced debt in July, even though it increased its total borrowing to 660 million pounds ($1.3 billion) from 580 million pounds.
The club's outstanding debt includes 135 million pounds of high-interest loans known as payment-in-kind notes, Townsend said earlier this month. The interest becomes payable when the club decides to repay the debt.
By selling debt secured using income from ticket sales,
Arsenal's 210 million pounds of 25-year bonds pay interest at 5.142 percent a year. The money was used to pay for its new Emirates Stadiumin
By insuring its securities with New York-based Ambac Assurance Corp., Arsenal obtained AAA grades from Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings.Without the insurance, known as a wrap, the bonds would have thelowest investment-grade rank of BBB-, according to S&P.
Companies rated BBB on average in July paid about 105 basis pointsmore than the
The spread on Arsenal's bonds due in 2029 has narrowed to 46 basispoints more than the benchmark, according to the Royal Bank of
Manchester United said sales were 165.4 million pounds for the yearending June 2006, compared with 157.2 million pounds for the 11 monthsthrough June 2005. Pretax profit was 30.8 million pounds compared with10.8 million in the period a year earlier.