Old Trafford move

Ratcliffe launches bid to buy Manchester United

Old Trafford (DB)
For sale: Manchester United (pic: PK Media & PR Ltd)

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has confirmed he wants to buy Manchester United in what is expected to be a £5 billion deal.

The 70-year-old owner of petrochemical giant Ineos, part-owner of the Grangemouth chemicals plant, is the first formal bidder for the Old Trafford club since the ‘for sale’ signs were put up by the Glazer family two months ago.

The Americans are willing to sell after 18 years at the helm and boyhood United supporter Ratcliffe is the first to make his interest known.

Ineos currently owns French side Nice and Swiss outfit Lausanne.

A spokesman for one of Britain’s richest men confirmed his company Ineos is interested in buying the club, declaring: “We have formally put ourselves into the process.”

US boutique bank Raine, which specialises in media, sports and technology deals, is acting exclusively as the club’s financial advisers, and any party wanting to table bids must register interest with them.

Ratcliffe failed in a £4.25bn bid to buy Chelsea last year, and may well have to increase that figure to take control at Old Trafford, having declared himself a “lifelong fan”.

Forbes estimates his wealth at $15.5bn – making him the world’s 111th-richest person.

He said previously that buying United wouldn’t represent good value for money but changed his stance once it became clear the Glazers were working on an exit strategy.

Rothschild and Co. is acting as exclusive financial adviser to the Glazer family shareholders.

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