Explainer-Jim Ratcliffe: Who is the founder of INEOS bidding for Manchester United?

Natalie Portman
By Natalie Portman 4 Min Read
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By Manasi Pathak

(RockedBuzz via Reuters) – INEOS, the company owned by British billionaire and longtime Manchester United fan Jim Ratcliffe, has formally entered the bidding process to buy the Premier League football club.


Jim Ratcliffe, 70, was born in Failsworth in Greater Manchester.

He founded the chemical group INEOS in 1998 and is chairman and chief executive officer of the company with a two-thirds stake.

According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $15.5 billion, making him the 112th richest person in the world and one of Britain’s richest businessmen.

Ratcliffe is the first potential bidder to publicly declare an interest in buying Manchester United.

In August, RockedBuzz via Reuters reported that Ratcliffe had expressed interest in buying United.

Last year, Ratcliffe failed in a bid to buy London-based soccer club Chelsea, bought by an investment group led by American Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.


INEOS Group Limited is a British multinational chemical company headquartered and registered in London.

The name INEOS comes from INspec Ethylene Oxide and Specialties, a former company name.

As of 2021, it is the fourth largest chemical company in the world.

The BBC reported that INEOS generates revenues of around £50 billion ($62 billion) and employs more than 26,000 people.

According to the company’s website, INEOS comprises 36 companies with 194 sites in 29 countries around the world, and also includes consumer brands and sports interests.

Its raw materials are used for packaging for toiletries, medicines and food, mobile and mobile phones.


The chemical company has long been involved in the world of sport, with ties to Formula One, cycling, sailing, football and rugby.

INEOS is the principal partner of eight-time F1 champions Mercedes and a third shareholder in the team which is owned in three equal parts by Mercedes-Benz Group AG, INEOS and Toto Wolff.

INEOS owns French Ligue 1 side Nice, Swiss Super League side FC Lausanne-Sport, and works with Ivory Coast Ligue One partner club Racing Club Abidjan.

The company is the official performance partner of the New Zealand national rugby union team, popularly known as the All Blacks.

Their sports portfolio also includes the INEOS Grenadiers, one of the most successful cycling teams in the world.


The Glazers, United’s US owners, said in November they had begun looking into options for the 20-time England champions, including new investment or a potential sale, 17 years after buying the Old Trafford club.

Saudi Arabia’s sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal has confirmed to Sky Sports his country’s intention to take over United.

Bloomberg News reported this week that United, Tottenham Hotspur or Liverpool have been targeted by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) for a potential takeover.

Spurs, however, said: “there is no truth to the reports that a meeting concerning the sale of shares in the club has taken place”.

QSI is currently the owner of French champions Paris St Germain and holds a stake in Portuguese football club SC Braga.

($1 = 0.8100 pounds)

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bangalore; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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