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Manchester United Stock Hardly Moves in Market Debut

Wayne Rooney - P 2012

Shares of the English soccer franchise had priced at $14 each.

LONDON - The stock of English soccer club Manchester United hardly moved early in its stock market debut on Friday.

After pricing overnight at $14 per share, the stock was up minimally at $14.01 as of 11:20am ET. That gave the sports franchise a market value of about $2.3 billion.

The lack of a major early stock move suggested the pricing was on target. The $14 price came in below the original $16-$20 target range as investors seemed unwilling to pay up for a piece of the soccer team that has in recent years often dominated the English league.

The IPO price of the club, known as the Red Devils, confirmed its status as the most valuable soccer club in the world. Forbes magazine recently estimated its value at $2.23 billion thanks in part to its global fan base, lucrative sponsorship deals with the likes of insurer Aon and DHL Express and merchandise sales, up from $1.86 billion in 2011.

That made the club, home of such stars as English striker Wayne Rooney, the most valuable sports team in the world, followed by Spain's Real Madrid with an estimated value of $1.88 billion.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai