Jim Ratcliffe completes the purchase of 25% of Manchester United shares

London, 21 Feb. (dpa/EP) –

British businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe has closed the purchase of a 25% stake in Manchester United, which will give his company, the chemical group INEOS, control of the club's football operations.

The founder, president and CEO of INEOS has completed the acquisition of 25% of the class B shares and 25% of the class A shares of the club.

The investment by Trawlers Ltd, a company wholly owned by Ratcliffe, received approval from the Premier League and the Football Association (FA) last week and was officially confirmed on Tuesday evening.

“Becoming a co-owner of Manchester United is a great honor and comes with great responsibility. This marks the completion of the transaction, but only the beginning of our journey to take Manchester United back to the top of English, European and world football. with world-class facilities for our fans,” said Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe has agreed to pay $33 – 30.5 euros – per share for a quarter of the class A shares, as well as to pay that price for 25% of the class B shares held by the Glazer family. Each class B share confers 10 times as many votes as one class A share.

More shares have been issued in exchange for the initial capital investment of 200 million dollars – 185 million euros – made by Ratcliffe at the closing of the operation. Ratcliffe will invest another 100 million – 92.5 million euros – before December 31 and its stake will then increase to 28.9%.

United co-chairman Joel Glazer hopes to “work closely” with Ratcliffe in this new stage. “I would like to welcome Sir Jim as part-owner and look forward to working closely with him and INEOS Sport to deliver a bright future for Manchester United,” he said.

Billionaire Ratcliffe, who was born in Failsworth, Greater Manchester, in October 1952 and says he was “about 10” when he first went to a United match, has been a regular visitor since it was announced on Christmas Eve that he had accepted the INEOS offer.

Ratcliffe attended the annual event in memory of the Munich air disaster at Old Trafford on February 6. Sir Dave Brailsford, INEOS sporting director, has also been a regular presence at the club and is expected to play a key role as INEOS takes over football operations.

Last month, United announced the surprise appointment of Manchester City's Omar Berrada as CEO. The 'Red Devils' have also been heavily linked with Dan Ashworth, who has left his role as sporting director at Newcastle and has been placed on leave by the Tyneside club.

The conclusion of the deal marks the end of a saga that began in November 2022, when the Glazers announced plans for a strategic review that could include the sale of the club.

Ratcliffe, along with Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim, were frontrunners when it became clear that a full sale would be considered, but the latter pulled out last October. Ratcliffe focused on the purchase of a significant minority stake, which was finally completed this Tuesday.