February 26th, 2024

Manchester United announces deal to sell up to 25% of EPL club to UK billionaire Jim Ratcliffe

By James Robson, The Associated Press on December 24, 2023.

FILE - Sir Jim Ratcliffe looks on ahead of the French League One soccer match between Nice and Paris Saint Germain in Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, southern France, on Oct.18, 2019. More than a year after it was put up for sale, Manchester United said Sunday that British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe had agreed to buy a minority stake in the storied Premier League club. Ratcliffe, who owns petrochemicals giant INEOS and is one of Britain’s richest people, has bought a stake of “up to 25%” of the 20-time league champions and will invest $300 million in its Old Trafford stadium. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole, File)

MANCHESTER, England (AP) – More than a year after it was put up for sale, Manchester United said Sunday that British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe had agreed to buy a minority stake in the storied Premier League club.

Ratcliffe, who owns petrochemicals giant INEOS and is one of Britain’s richest people, has bought a stake of “up to 25%” of the 20-time league champions and will invest $300 million in its Old Trafford stadium.

As part of the deal, United said Ratcliffe would take responsibility for the club’s soccer operations.

Ratcliffe, who was born in Failsworth, Greater Manchester, had originally bid to buy American owners, the Glazers’, majority share of around 69%.

“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.

“Whilst the commercial success of the club 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. We will bring the global knowledge, expertise and talent from the wider INEOS Sport group to help drive further improvement at the club, while also providing funds intended to enable future investment into Old Trafford.”

Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer, United executive co-chairmen and directors, said in the statement: “Sir Jim and INEOS bring a wealth of commercial experience as well as significant financial commitment into the club. And, through INEOS Sport, Manchester United will have access to seasoned high-performance professionals, experienced in creating and leading elite teams from both inside and outside the game.

“Manchester United has talented people right across the club and our desire is to always improve at every level to help bring our great fans more success in the future,”

The Glazers announced last November plans to seek new investment and instructed US merchant bank Raine to oversee the process, which included the potential of a full sale

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James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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