• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
businessday logo


Jim Ratcliffe finally completes 25% acquisition of Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe=manchester-united_

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe‘s deal to buy a 25% stake in Manchester United has been completed.

The purchase is worth about £1.3billion and allows his INEOS company control of football operations at the club.

The investment from Trawlers Ltd, a company wholly owned by Ratcliffe, received Premier League and Football Association approval last week.

The Glazer family, who have owned the 20-time English champions since 2005, will retain a majority stake in the club but Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group will take control of football operations.

“To become co-owner of Manchester United is a great honour and comes with great responsibility,” said Ratcliffe.

“This marks the completion of the transaction, but just 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.

“Work to achieve those objectives will accelerate from today.”

Ratcliffe has agreed to pay £26 ($33) per share for a quarter of the Class A shares, as well as paying that price for 25 per cent of the Class B shares held by the Glazer family. Each Class B share confers 10 times as many votes as a Class A share.

Further shares have been issued in return for the initial £158.5m ($200m) capital investment made by Ratcliffe upon completion of the deal. Ratcliffe will invest a further £79.2m ($100m) by December 31 and his ownership will then increase to 28.9 per cent.

United co-chairman Joel Glazer said: “I would like to welcome Sir Jim as co-owner and look forward to working closely with him and INEOS Sport to deliver a bright future for Manchester United.”

The deal is the first to be agreed under the Premier League’s updated owners’ and directors’ test, which was approved by member clubs in March 2023 and includes a review by an independent oversight panel.

The Glazers bought Manchester United for £790m in 2005. In November 2022, the American family stated they were considering selling to “explore strategic alternatives”.

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

Ratcliffe, along with Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim, were the frontrunners when it became apparent a full sale would be considered, but the latter withdrew last October.