(August 20, 2012, New York) The Week reports that US billionaire and groom-to-be George Soros has brought a large stake in Manchester United, a week after the English football club floated on the New York Stock Exchange. The Hungarian-born hedge fund manager has bought 3.1 million shares. However, the dual-class structure means that although Soros has eight per cent of the available stock he owns only 1.9 per cent of the club. The shares were bought through Quantum Partners, the investment arm of his family office, according to a filing with US regulators.
So far, however, things have not gone well for Soros. Not only did his new team lose their opening game of the season against Everton last night, but his shares have slipped in value since he bought them. His stake in the company is thought to have cost $43.4m. The Financial Times says it is now only worth about $40.5m based on Monday's closing price.
There could be worse to follow if the FT is to be believed. "Hedge funds have lined up to profit from a further fall in the club's value," it reports. "According to Markit, the financial information company, 8.4 per cent of Manchester United's shares had been borrowed for shorting as of Friday, making the company the 14th most shorted IPO of the year."
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