Man United sells 25% stake to Ineos boss Ratcliffe

Manchester United plc announced an agreement under which Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe will acquire 25% of Manchester United’s Class B shares and up to 25% of Manchester United’s Class A shares “and provide an additional $300 million intended to enable future investment into Old Trafford.”

Ratcliffe, 71, will pay $33 a share for his 25% stake in the club, valuing the club at $6.3 billion including debt, Reuters reported.

Ratcliffe’s stake will be valued at roughly $1.3 billion.

The company said: “As part of the transaction, Ineos has accepted a request by the board to be delegated responsibility for the management of the club’s football operations.

“This will include all aspects of the men’s and women’s football operations and Academies, alongside two seats on the Manchester United PLC board and the Manchester United Football Club boards.

“The joint ambition is to create a world-class football operation building on the club’s many existing strengths, including the successful off-pitch performance that it continues to enjoy.”

Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani had also considered buying Manchester United, but dropped out of the process, saying he would not raise his $6 billion offer.

Ineos already owns French Ligue 1 club Nice, Swiss Super League side FC Lausanne-Sport, and works with Racing Club Abidjan of Ivory Coast Ligue One. It is also behind the Grenadiers, one of the world’s most successful cycling teams.

Manchester United plc executive co-chairmen and directors Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said: “We are delighted to have agreed this deal with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos.

“As part of the strategic review we announced in November 2022, we committed to look at a variety of alternatives to help enhance Manchester United, with a focus on delivering success for our men’s, women’s and Academy teams.

“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.”

Ratcliffe said: “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.

“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.

“We are here for the long term and recognise that a lot of challenges and hard work lie ahead, which we will approach with rigour, professionalism and passion.

“We are committed to working with everyone at the club – the board, staff, players and fans – to help drive the club forward.

“Our shared ambition is clear: we all want to see Manchester United back where we belong, at the very top of English, European and world football.”

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.