The British billionare Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s company, Ineos, has officially entered the race to buy Manchester United
United’s owners the Glazer family said in November that they were considering selling the club as they “explore strategic alternatives”.
Ineos said the company had “formally put ourselves into the process”.
Last year, Ratcliffe made an unsuccessful late £4.25 billion bid to buy Chelsea after owner Roman Abramovich put the London club up for sale.
Ratcliffe, the son of a joiner from Failsworth in Greater Manchester, is a lifelong United supporter and one of the UK’s wealthiest men.
He stated that if he had failed to acquire Chelsea, he would have attempted to acquire Manchester United, but after meeting with brothers Joel and Avram Glazer, he learned that they did not want to sell.
However, the Glazers’ stance has since shifted, and he has now entered the bidding process.
The Ineos group owns the French club Nice and the Swiss club Lausanne.
The Glazer family has owned United since 2005.
They are fourth in the Premier League after a turnaround under manager Erik ten Hag, who took over in the summer.
They are nine points behind leaders Arsenal after defeating their neighborhood rivals Manchester City 2-1 on Saturday.
United is receiving exclusive advice from the American financial firm Raine Group, which oversaw Chelsea’s £4.25 billion sale in May. The Stamford Bridge club’s shares were purchased for £2.5 billion by a group headed by Todd Boehly, who also pledged to invest $1.75 billion in the Premier League team.
Numerous demonstrations against the Glazers’ ownership have taken place in recent years, notably one in May 2021 that forced the postponement of United’s home league game against Liverpool.
In protest before the same match this season, in August, thousands of fans marched to Old Trafford.
United was a member of the failed European Super League project, which collapsed in April 2021. Joel Glazer, co-chairman of Manchester United, later apologized for the uproar.
In the aftermath of the fan revolt, he attended fans’ forums and promised to make shares available to the club’s supporters.
Since then, United has stated that the board will “consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company,” according to a November statement.