Thursday, April 25, 2024

Sir Jim Ratcliffe completes purchase of Manchester United stake

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Feb 2024

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe has completed a deal to purchase a stake in Manchester United which will grant his Ineos company control of football operations at the club.

The Ineos founder, chairman and chief executive has completed his acquisition of 25 per cent of the Club’s class B shares and 25 per cent of the club’s Class A shares.

The investment from Trawlers Ltd, a company wholly owned by Ratcliffe, received Premier League and Football Association approval last week and was officially confirmed on Tuesday night.

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

“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 US dollars 33 (£26) 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 shares confers 10 times as many votes as a Class A share.

Further shares have been issued in return for the initial 200m US dollars (£158.5m) capital investment made by Ratcliffe upon completion of the deal. Ratcliffe will invest a further 100m US dollars (£79.2m) 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 billionaire Ratcliffe, who was born in Failsworth in Greater Manchester in October 1952 and says he was “around 10” when he first went to a United match, has been a frequent visitor as Ineos prepares to take responsibility for footballing operations at United.

Ratcliffe also attended the annual memorial for the Munich air disaster at Old Trafford on February 6.

Sir Dave Brailsford, Ineos’ director of sport, has also been a regular presence around the club and is expected to play a key role.

United’s statement last month confirming the shock appointment of Manchester City’s Omar Berrada as chief executive stressed that approach.

The Red Devils have also been strongly linked with Dan Ashworth, who has left his role as sporting director at Newcastle and placed on garden leave by the Tyneside club.

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 front-runners when it became apparent a full sale would be considered, but the latter withdrew last October.

Ratcliffe’s focus shifted to the purchase of a significant minority stake, which has finally been completed on Wednesday.

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