British Billionaire and owner of INEOS petrochemical firm, Sir Jim Ratcliffe could rival Qatari’s Sheikh Jassim offer to buy Manchester United as Old Trafford board members are set to meet to discuss the latest proposal by the businessman.
Ratcliffe’s revised offer of buying a minority stake in Manchester United has given him the edge over bidding rival Sheikh Jassim. The Qatari banker has submitted several bids to buy full control of the Premier League club but continues to face tough competition from Ratcliffe, one of Britain’s richest men.
According to Bloomberg, Ratcliffe, the second richest person in Britain with over £30billion investment is in talks with the Glazers family over the structure of a deal which could value the Red Devils at more than £5billion.
The 70-year-old businessman is seeking 25 per cent of the Red Devils’ shares – which would be reached by acquiring part of both the Glazers’ stake and the stock publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange in equal proportion – but the current hierarchy are holding out for up to £1.5billion as they value the club at a total fee of £6billion and neither Sheikh Jassim nor Ratcliffe have met Glazers’ asking price.
Yet one obvious factor that may give Ratcliffe an advantage is that he is willing to structure his deal in a manner that would see the Glazers retain their places on the board in the short- to medium-term before handing over.
Also, Ratcliffe’s INEOS owned major stakes French top-flight side Nice, Swiss club Lausanne-Sport and one of cycling’s biggest teams.
In a recent interview with INEOS.TV Ratcliffe said: “You can’t really contemplate acquiring a brand like Manchester United and failing because the failure is just far too public and excruciating in a deal like that.”
Ratcliffe is willing to do whatever it takes to acquire a stake in the club he has supported since childhood and reports suggest that the Glazers family might consider the 70-year-old.