Photo/INEOS website

Sir James Arthur Ratcliffe, a British businessman and the CEO of the global petrochemical products manufacturer Ineos, has announced that he will offer $1.5 billion (about RMB 11 billion) to purchase a 25% stake in Manchester United, one of the most successful football clubs in the English Premier League. Ratcliffe is a lifelong fan of Manchester United and has been trying to acquire the club for some time.

He was born in Oldham, England. Ineos has 36 businesses with 194 sites in 29 countries and is the world’s third-largest chemical company, producing approximately 60 million tons of chemicals annually.

On Monday, October 16th, when Ratcliffe announced his intention to purchase Manchester United, the club’s stock price on the New York Stock Exchange fell by as much as 17%, closing down more than 10% that day. According to foreign media reports, this is because Ratcliffe proposed a minority equity investment in Manchester United, which would result in the original American owner, the Glazer family, continuing to control the club.

It is worth noting that although Ratcliffe has been a lifelong supporter of Manchester United, he became a season ticket holder for Chelsea after moving to London. Last year, when Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich was forced to sell Chelsea Football Club, Ratcliffe also attempted to purchase it but failed. He has also studied Newcastle United in the English Premier League and has done some research on its growth prospects. However, he was not optimistic about its future growth prospects. Eventually, Ratcliffe bought French Ligue 1 club Nice for €110 million.

In terms of his attitude towards wealth among top billionaires, Ratcliffe has always believed that “making money is not easy; you don't want to waste it.” 

As of writing this response, Ratcliffe’s net worth is estimated at $18.6 billion by Forbes and ranks him 89th on the global rich list.

Editor: Alexander