5 January 2024

Jim Ratcliffe buys 25% stake in Manchester United

British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has completed a deal to acquire a 25% stake in Manchester United for USD 1.3 billion. Ratcliffe's purchase of the stake for USD 33 per share values the English football club at USD 6.3 billion, including debt.

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This transaction is the culmination of a process that has taken more than a year after the majority owners, the Glazer family, announced in November 2022 that they were exploring strategic options. The Glazer family, which also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL club, has faced considerable criticism from fans over the club's declining performance since the departure of former manager Alex Ferguson in 2013, under whose leadership the club experienced much success. Interestingly, all of the English clubs in the traditional big four of football - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United - are controlled by American investors.

Ratcliffe, chairman and founder of petrochemical company Ineos and Britain's richest man, will take control of the club's football operations through his INEOS group. In addition, he plans to invest a further US$300 million in the redevelopment of Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium.

This investment follows a number of high-profile sports transactions, including the acquisition of the Washington Commanders NFL club by PE magnate Josh Harris for $6 billion last year.