US financier Malcolm Glazer said on Tuesday he held 97.3 percent of British soccer club Manchester United, pushing him close to the level which gives him the right to buy out any remaining shareholders.
Glazer, through his bid vehicle Red Football Ltd, said he was extending his offer until June 27, seeking to gain a key 97.6 percent level needed to buy out compulsorily the last remaining shareholders.
The sports tycoon won control of United, the world's richest soccer club, last month after a two-year battle in a 300 pence a share cash bid which valued the 15-times English soccer champions at 796 million pounds ($1.43 billion).
He soon clinched full control of United by pushing his shareholding above 75 percent, which gave him the right to delist the shares from the stock market, and launched his formal bid for the club when his holding of the club had reached 75.7 percent.
After launching the bid, Glazer needed 90 percent of the remaining minority shareholders in order to force any remaining shareholders to sell to him. This equates to an overall shareholding level of 97.6 percent.
Glazer says he plans to delist Manchester United shares on June 22 or as soon after this date as is practicable.