(Reuters) -Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani made an improved final offer for Manchester United in an attempt to see off his main rival British petrochemicals billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, The Times reported on Tuesday.
Sheikh Jassim is offering to buy 100% of the club now for a price nearer to 5 billion pounds ($6.31 billion), the report said.
Manchester United’s shares were up 1.2%.
The club declined to comment, and investment bank Raine Group that is running the bidding process did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Sheikh Jassim’s offer falls short of the 6 billion pounds asking price set by current owners, the Glazer family, The Guardian reported in April.
Manchester United’s American owners late last year launched a formal sale process and have received several bids, including from British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, founder of chemicals producer INEOS, and Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus.
According to a report in April by The Times, Ratcliffe’s INEOS had outbid Sheikh Jassim in the battle to buy Manchester United.
Ineos was the only bidder to have valued the club higher than 5 billion pounds ($6.29 billion), the report added.
($1 = 0.7923 pounds)
(Reporting by Urvi Dugar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)