Man United takeover: What is Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s net worth?
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, has expressed interest in launching a takeover bid for Manchester United after the Glazers placed the club up for sale.
Sir Jim, the 70-year-old founder and CEO of chemical company Ineos, is a Brexit-supporting football fan who recently drew criticism for his intention to leave Britain for the tax haven of Monaco.
The entrepreneur, who has an estimated net worth of £13.3 billion, purchased French club Nice for £91 million in 2019, two years after purchasing Swiss club FC Lausanne-Sport.
He wants to buy Manchester United outright after failing to buy Chelsea last May.
Avram and Joel Glazer, United’s detested owners, declared plans to sell the club in November, and it is widely assumed that they want to sell United.
United’s despised owners, Avram and Joel Glazer, declared ambitions to sell the club in November, and it is claimed that they want £5 billion before leaving Old Trafford.
Sir Jim was born in 1952 and grew up in a council house on Dunkerley Avenue in Failsworth, a tiny village between Manchester and Oldham, before moving to Yorkshire and attending Beverley Grammar School.
On his first day at the University of Birmingham, he was mortified to discover that he was near the bottom of a list of 99 undergraduates ranked by A-level results, but he went on to get a 2:1 in chemical engineering.
After graduating, he worked for BP throughout his summer vacation and was offered a position. However, he was sacked shortly afterwards r just three days because his boss had seen his medical report and wasn’t keen on him working there with mild eczema.
Sir Jim went on to work as a trainee accountant at a pharmaceuticals company before going to Esso then Courtaulds. He mortgaged his home in 1992 to purchase BP’s chemicals division for almost £40 million.
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He established his first firm just weeks before his 40th birthday and founded Ineos in 1998 at the age of 45. He built it into the world’s fourth largest chemicals firm, with annual revenues of £45 billion, over the next 20 years.
Sir Jim has always supported Manchester United, but he also holds a season ticket at Chelsea.
‘I am a season ticket holder at Chelsea, and have been for years,’ he recently stated, despite being a Manchester United fan. Or was!’
He sponsors professional cycling team the Ineos Grenadiers, who under their previous name, Team Sky, won the Tour de France seven times.
In 2020, he was chastised for joining a slew of wealthy Britons, including Topshop CEO Phillip Green and his wife Tina, in migrating from the UK to Monaco, where he is predicted to save £4 billion in taxes.
People who live in Monaco for at least 183 days a year do not pay any income or property taxes. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, the highest tax rate is 45% on income above £150,000 per year.
According to the Sunday Times tax list, Sir Jim was the UK’s third highest individual taxpayer, paying £110 million in 2017-18.
The move came soon after he was knighted by the Queen for ‘services to business and investment’.
The businessman was further chastised after it was revealed that he had been suspended for almost a year 800 members of staff from his luxury hotel groups.
Sir Jim married Amanda Townson in 1985, and the couple produced two sons, George and Samuel.
The couple separated in 1995 after having two boys.
He and his second wife, Alicia, have a daughter. He is rumored to be dating Catherine Polli right now.
To maintain his slim frame, he engages in distance running and triathlons.
Earlier this year, the businessman attempted to buy Chelsea, but his late bid was rejected as current owner Todd Boehly and his partners acquired control of the London club.
Ratcliffe made a last-minute £4.25 billion bid to buy Chelsea in May, but has since expressed interest in becoming the owner of Manchester United.
The billionaire has been vocal about his view that Man Utd has lost its way, and in 2019 slammed the club for its ‘shockingly poor’ managerial selections and spending ‘dumb money’ on ‘players like Fred’.
Sir Jim has been connected to Chelsea on numerous occasions, but has recognized the club’s Stamford Bridge stadium as a big issue for any possible owner.
‘There was some early trading, but valuations were a significant distance away,’ Ratcliffe told BBC Five Live.
‘Chelsea’s problem is its stadium. We’re all getting older, and it’ll take you a decade to figure it out.’
‘Even though clubs have those valuations now, nobody has ever paid those amounts of money,’ he stated to The Times in 2019.
‘Was Abramovich’s purchase of Chelsea worth £100 million? What did the Glazers get for £500 million? You can claim it’s worth three or four billion dollars, but no one has ever paid that amount.
‘Ineos has always tried to take a sensible approach. We don’t like squandering money or we wouldn’t be where we are today. It’s part of our DNA, trying to spend sensibly.’