Sir Jim Ratcliffe confirms he is in running to buy Manchester United

by 24britishtvJan. 17, 2023, 7:20 p.m. 16
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One of Britain’s richest people, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has confirmed that his company is in the running to buy Manchester United from the Glazer family.

The 70-year-old billionaire, who was born in Failsworth in Greater Manchester, had been coy about his ambitions to take over his boyhood club when the Glazers first indicated they would be willing to sell in November.

However Ratcliffe’s company Ineos said on Tuesday it had registered its interest with the merchant bank running the sale for the Glazer family, an announcement that makes it the first potential bidder to go public.

“We have formally put ourselves into the process,” a spokesperson for Ineos, a petrochemicals and fracking company, told the Times.

The formal process of bidding for United is expected to start next month, with interest from the United States, the Middle East and Asia also expected. At this stage, parties have to sign up to see confidential financial documents and commit to undertaking due diligence before a possible takeover.

Ratcliffe, who has a sporting portfolio that includes the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team, a third of the Mercedes F1 team and Nice football club, said in October that he was looking to have a bigger “asset” in football. But at that stage he did not expect the Glazers to sell.

“I’m a lifelong Manchester United fan,” he said at the time. “And I was there in that most remarkable match in 1999 in Barcelona, which is deeply etched in my mind. But we can’t sit around hoping that one day Manchester United will become available.”

The price tag is not expected to be cheap, with the Glazers looking for about £5bn, but Ratcliffe has the money with Forbes estimating his wealth at $15.5bn – making him the world’s 111th-richest person.

The news was greeted with cautious optimism by the Manchester United Supporters Trust, which reiterated its call for fans to be integral under any new ownership model.

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