Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s company INEOS has officially entered the bidding to buy Manchester United.
Sky Sports News has confirmed a story first published by The Times that Ratcliffe, one of Britain’s richest men, wants to complete the purchase of the Premier League giants.
The Glazer family, United’s current owners, announced in November they are willing to listen to offers for the club after a 17-year reign dominated by fan protests and declining on-pitch performance.
INEOS, Ratcliffe’s chemical firm, announced it had formally lodged interest with the Glazers.
“We have formally put ourselves into the process,” a spokesperson said.
Ratcliffe has made no secret of the fact he would be interested in buying United. He supported them as a boy and is understood to remain a fan.
The 70-year-old billionaire was among bidders for Chelsea when their ownership came up for grabs after the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
His offer, of £4.25bn, was rejected under the sale process ordered by the Government when Roman Abramovich was sanctioned for his links to Vladimir Putin’s regime in Moscow.
Ratcliffe is no stranger to big sporting investments. He also owns cycling team INEOS Grenadiers, Ligue 1 side Nice, who he took over in 2019, and FC Lausanne-Sport, a Swiss Super League club.
As well as Ratcliffe, Saudia Arabia sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal has previously confirmed his country’s intentions of taking over United – valued at around £5bn. Technology giant Apple has been another reported interested party.