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Jim Ratcliffe makes Manchester United takeover bid official

Jim Ratcliffe, courtesy Science History Institute

One of Britain’s richest men, the Ineos billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has finally made his interest in Manchester United official.

Ratcliffe’s company has now confirmed through a spokesman that it has “formally put ourselves into the process” following months of speculation that the boyhood United fan would put himself in the race to sign one of the world’s biggest football clubs.

United’s current owners, the American Glazer family, took over the club in 2005 but said in November that they were considering selling as they “explore strategic alternatives.”

Failsworth-born Ratcliffe made an unsuccessful late £4.25bn offer to buy Chelsea last year after sanctions forced Russian owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale.

Despite that failure, Ratcliffe is not without experience of running a high profile football club. The Ineos Group currently owns French Ligue 1 club Nice and Swiss club Lausanne. Further sporting interests include sailing team Ineos Britannia, while the group also has a five-year partnership with Formula 1 team Mercedes and took over Team Sky in cycling in 2019.

Ratcliffe has made no secret of his desire to own his local team – following the Chelsea deal hitting a dead-end, he revealed that he had previously made enquiries about Utd, but at that point the Glazers were not prepared to sell their prize asset.

The 2022 Sunday Times Rich List ranks Ratcliffe as the 27th wealthiest person in the UK with a fortune of just over £6bn on the Sunday Times Rich List. His petrochemicals firm Ineos makes about £50bn in annual sales and employs more than 26,000 people across 29 countries.

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