Who is Sir Jim Ratcliffe? Billionaire wants to buy Manchester United

·3 min read
A spokesperson has confirmed that  Sir Jim Ratcliffe is a potential buyer.  (AFP via Getty Images)
A spokesperson has confirmed that Sir Jim Ratcliffe is a potential buyer. (AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United is currently owned by the Glazers. Specifically the six children of the late Malcolm Glazer – Avram, Joel, Kevin, Bryan, Darcie and Edwards, each taking an equal share of a 9% stake owned by their father after his death in 2014.

Now, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, one of Britain’s richest people has been tipped as the next owner of Manchester United. As of April 2020, Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated his net worth at $28.2 billion, 55th richest in the world and second in the UK.

A spokesperson confirmed Jim’s interest.

“If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer,” a spokesperson for Ratcliffe told The Times. “If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.”

“This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent,” Ratcliffe’s spokesperson said. “Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”

But who is Sir Jim Ratcliffe? Here is everything we know.

Who is Sir Jim Ratcliffe?

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, 69, was born in Failsworth, Greater Manchester. His father was a joiner and his mother was an accounts office worker. Jim and his family moved to East Yorkshire when he was 10. He lived there up until he was 18.

He attended the University of Birmingham and graduated in 1974.

How did Sir Jim Ratcliffe make his money?

Sir Jim Ratcliffe made his fortune in the chemicals industry. He was a co-founder of Inspec, and in 1998, his fortunes flew when he went on to buy out Inspec and form Ineos. His company sells a diverse range of products, from synthetic oils and plastics to solvents used to make insulin and antibiotics.

Today, he still owns two-thirds of Ineos, which has an estimated turnover of $80 billion (£59.3 billion).

He also has a history of sports ownership. Jim owns FC Lausanne-Sport, a Swiss Super League football club and the Team Sky cycling franchise (Team Ineos).

In 2019, he was interested in sealing a deal to buy Chelsea Football Club, but was unwilling to meet Roman Abramovich’s £2.5 billion estimation of the club, moving on to buy Nice instead.

Outside of sport, Ratcliffe has previously owned two super yachts but still has the 78-metre long Hampshire II yaucht. He also owns 50% of the Pig Hotels business group.

Where does Sir Jim Ratcliffe live?

In September 2020, the 69-year-old moved to tax-free Monaco, where it is estimated that he will save up to £4 billion a year on tax payments.

Is Sir Jim Ratcliffe married and does he have children?

Jim married Amanda Townson in 1985 but they later divorced in 1995. They have two sons, George and Samuel. Jim also has one daughter, from a previous relationship, with Maria Alessia Maresca, an Italian tax lawyer. His current partner is Catherine Polli.