Shares of the English soccer club Manchester United Plc briefly rose by as much as 17% in premarket trading on Wednesday, after Elon Musk jokingly tweeted “Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome.”
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“Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome,” the billionaire wrote on Twitter. Hours later, Musk responded to a Twitter user asking if he was serious about buying the club and clarified that it was a joke.
Manchester United shares, which are traded under the abbreviation MANU on the New York Stock Exchange, were up 3.68% in premarket trading as of 4:30 a.m. ET, paring gains after initially surging 17% after the tweet.
Based on the club’s most recent stock market valuation, buying Manchester United would have cost Musk around $2 billion. Manchester United declined to comment on the matter when contacted by CNBC.
Musk’s original tweet incited a wide-spread reaction and had gained over 573 000 likes and had been retweeted over 140 000 times at time of writing. Manchester United fans reacted surprised, yet hopeful, as many have criticized the current owners of the club, the American Glazer family.
This is linked to the club’s slow start to the current season of the English Premiere League, notching two losses in two games, and the club being part of the failed attempt to set up the European Super League last year.
Even before Musk clarified that his offer to buy Manchester United was a joke, some fans remained skeptical as the billionaire has a history of making similar jokes online.
In April of this year, he tweeted that he would purchase Coca-Cola “to put the cocaine back in,” a tweet he referred back to on Wednesday after clarifying that he would not buy Manchester United.
“And I’m not buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in, despite the extreme popularity of such a move,” Musk wrote.
The original tweet about purchasing Coca-Cola came just days after Twitter’s board accepted Musk’s offer to buy the social media company for $44 billion.
Musk has since gone back on this deal just four months after agreeing to it. Twitter is taking the billionaire to court over the dispute.