Sir Jim Ratcliffe to bid for Man United after Glazers put club up for sale
Sir Jim Ratcliffe will reportedly submit a bid for Manchester United, following confirmation that the Glazers were exploring a potential sale of the club.
British billionaire Ratcliffe - whose company Ineos owns French outfit OGC Nice - had initially expressed an interest in a long-term takeover of United in August after a failed bid to buy Chelsea earlier this year.
In October, Ratcliffe seemed to throw cold water on a sell-up by the Glazers, telling a conference hosted by the Financial Times: "I've met Joel and Avram and they are the nicest people, I have to say, they are proper gentlemen.
"They don't want to sell it. It's owned by the six children of the father and they don't want to sell it." And in recent weeks a spokesperson for his company said he was "focusing efforts" on OGC Nice amid the news that FSG were looking at potentially offloading Liverpool.
But following the news on Tuesday night that the Glazers are "exploring strategic alternatives", it appears he could be back in the frame to bid for the club.
The Glazers are reportedly valuing United at £5bn. The Telegraph reports that Ratcliffe is now back at the table and will launch a bid to buy the club, although is keen not to pay over the odds.
It adds that there is concern brokers Raine Group - whom Ratcliffe had dealt with during his bid for Chelsea - will try and push for more than the worth of the club. The report claims Ratcliffe had been waiting for the price of Chelsea to drop before ultimately losing out to Todd Boehly’s consortium.
The 70-year-old has been a lifelong fan of United and is said to be serious in his bid. Ineos - which also has financial interest in Formula One and cycling - is said to be meticulous in its approach to any takeovers, ensuring that investments gain significant return within three years.
However, the article claims that United would be the exception to the rule. With the company not expected to sell OGC Nice if they are successful in their takeover, Uefa rules dictate that the two clubs would not be able to meet each other in Europe.
In a joint statement on Tuesday - in which United confirmed they were to “explore strategic alternatives for the club”, Joel and Avram Glazer said: "We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximises the significant growth opportunities available to the Club today and in the future.
“Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”
Meanwhile, the Manchester Evening News exclusively revealed that former Goldman Sachs boss Lord Jim O'Neill if the Glazers lowered their demands.
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