Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire owner of petrochemicals firm, INEOS, has announced that he has officially entered the race to buy Premier League club, Manchester United.
The British billionaire and lifelong Manchester United fan is now expected to make an offer to United owners, the Glazer family, who outlined their willingness to sell the Premier League club in November.
A spokesperson for Ratcliffe told The Times: “We have formally put ourselves into the process (of buying United).”
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is the first one to go public — with other groups now also interested. pic.twitter.com/MD6q2zZefx
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 17, 2023
Those interested in buying the club, have to register with Raine Group, the bank handling the sale of the club for the Glazer family.
This is also coming at a time Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and his players have delivered a remarkable upturn on the pitch.
Ratcliffe had previously indicated his interest to buy the club. However, INEOS said last summer that it was no longer interested in bidding for any Premier League club and would, instead, focus its attention on French team Nice, which it already owns.
That position has changed now that United’s American owners, the Glazer family, are prepared to sell. Late tycoon Malcolm Glazer bought United in 2005 for 790 million pounds (then about $1.4 billion).
Ratcliffe also made a late bid to buy Chelsea last year when former owner Roman Abramovich put the London club up for sale.
A consortium led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital eventually secured a deal worth 2.5 billion pounds ($3 billion) for Chelsea, which also included a commitment of 1.75 billion pounds ($2 billion) of further investment.
Ratcliffe was born in Greater Manchester and has a pedigree in owning sports teams. Listed 27th on the 2022 Sunday Times Rich List with a net worth of over £6 billion ($7.4bn), he is the founder and CEO of chemicals company INEOS, which sponsors the Mercedes AMG Formula One team and owns the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team.