Manchester United CEO Richard Arnold is stepping down, the iconic English soccer club announced Wednesday, with British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe reportedly close to clinching a minority deal in the club. General Counsel Patrick Stewart will replace Arnold as interim CEO, the club said in a statement, with Arnold providing transitional support until the end of December. A search process will be carried out for a new permanent CEO, Manchester United said.
Shares of operator Manchester United Ltd.
rose 1% in premarket trades Wednesday after ending Tuesday’s session up 5%. Related: Sir Jim Ratcliffe close to Manchester United minority deal, report says The management change comes as British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group is reportedly close to clinching a deal to become a minority stakeholder in the club. Last week the BBC reported that Ratcliffe’s deal could be agreed on during this month’s international break, when the Premier League takes a brief hiatus, and could be announced as early as this week. Ratcliffe, the chief executive of the chemical giant Ineos, is expected to pay around $1.52 billion for a 25% stake in Manchester United, the BBC reported. MarketWatch understands that no further news is expected from Manchester United on Wednesday. Ratcliffe had been locked in a takeover battle with Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim to wrest control of Manchester United from the Glazer family, who have owned the club since 2005. In September, Bloomberg reported that Ratcliffe was restructuring his bid in an attempt to break the deadlock in the takeover battle. Related: Hedge-fund billionaire Leon Cooperman takes Manchester United stake In November 2022, the Glazers confirmed they were exploring potential financial investment in, or an outright sale of, the Pre …