Manchester United Sells 25% Ownership to British Petrochemical Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe

By Jace Dela Cruz

Dec 26, 2023 01:23 AM EST

Manchester United has confirmed the sale of a 25% stake in the club to British billionaire and INEOS Chief Executive Jim Ratcliffe. 

According to the Associated Press, Ratcliffe has secured a stake of "up to 25%" in Manchester United and will invest $300 million in its Old Trafford stadium.

Ratcliffe, one of Britain's wealthiest people, bought the 25 percent stake at a price of $33 per share. The transaction will reportedly be funded by Trawlers Limited, a company wholly owned by Ratcliffe, without any debt.

Under the agreement entered on Sunday, the chairman of the petrochemicals giant will acquire 25 percent of the Class B shares held by the owners, the Glazer family, and up to 25 percent of the Class A shares.

(Photo : BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
Manchester United's Dutch manager Erik ten Hag (L) gives instructions to Manchester United's Scottish midfielder #39 Scott McTominay (R) during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester United at the London Stadium, in London on December 23, 2023.

INEOS Owned by Jim Ratcliffe to Manage Manchester United

INEOS will reportedly manage the club's football operations, covering men's and women's teams and academies. The agreement also grants INEOS two seats on the Manchester United PLC and Manchester United Football Club boards.

The announcement follows a strategic review initiated by Manchester United in November 2022, seeking alternatives to enhance the club's success across various teams.

"We are delighted to have agreed this deal with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS. As part of the strategic review we announced in November 2022, we committed to look at a variety of alternatives to help enhance Manchester United, with a focus on delivering success for our men's, women's and Academy teams," executive co-chairmen and directors Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said in a statement

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Jim Ratcliffe on Buying the Manchester United

Jim Ratcliffe, a self-proclaimed lifelong supporter of Manchester United, highlighted the potential for further unlocking the club's success. He also emphasized the global knowledge, expertise, and talent of the INEOS Sport group that could "help drive further improvement at the club while also providing funds intended to enable future investment into Old Trafford."

Ratcliffe noted that while the club's commercial success "has ensured there have always been available funds to win trophies at the highest level, this potential has not been fully unlocked in recent times."

"As a local boy and a lifelong supporter of the club, I am very pleased that we have been able to agree a deal with the Manchester United Board that delegates us management responsibility of the football operations of the club," Ratcliffe said in the statement.

The British billionaire had initially bid to buy the entire majority share of around 69% held by the Glazer family. Ratcliffe will reportedly give $200 million upon completion of the deal and a further $100 million by the end of 2024.

United said the agreement will be worth about $1.6 billion in total, including the $300 million of funding. The deal is subject to approval by the Premier League.

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