British billionaire registers formal interest in buying Manchester United from the Glazers

Sir Jim Ratcliffe Manchester United
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sir Jim Ratcliffe's company Ineos has officially stated an interest in buying Manchester United from the Glazer family.

Ratcliffe is a boyhood Manchester United fan and the two-thirds owner, CEO and chairman of chemical group Ineos, with interest lodged with Raine Group, the merchant bank exclusively advising Manchester United in the sale of the club. 

A spokesperson said: "We have formally put ourselves into the process [of buying Manchester United]."

Having previously outlined his interest in buying the club, Ratcliffe came away from a meeting with Joel and Avram Glazer last year that the club wasn't up for sale.

However, in November, the Glazer family said they were considering selling the club as they "explore strategic alternatives", which could also have included new investment. 

Raine Group, which helped with the sale of Chelsea last year for £2.5 billion, are hoping the sale of the Red Devils will go through in the first quarter of this year. Ratcliffe made a late attempt to buy Chelsea with a £4.25 billion bid, but Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital were too far into negotiations and his bid was rejected. 

At the beginning of 2023, Manchester United's overall price on the stock market was valued at around £3 billion, while Forbes valued the club in May last year at £3.7 billion . The Glazers, though, are reportedly wanting around £5bn for a sale.

Ratcliffe net worth is estimated at around £12.5 million according to Forbes, making him one of the richest people in Britain, in the 111th-richest person in the world.

Ineos are already heavily involved within football, owning French Ligue 1 club Nice and Swiss Super League side Lausanne. The company also owns the successful sailing team Ineos Britannia, British-based cycling team Ineos Grenadiers, and owns a third of the Formula 1 team Mercedes. 

Manchester United Supporters Trust greeted the news of Ineos' desire to buy the club with cautious optimism, suggesting the way the new owner acts is of paramount importance. 

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.