According to reports, British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is on the verge of acquiring a 25% stake in Manchester United. ESPN reported on Thursday that Ratcliffe’s $1.57 billion investment will be finalized next week. This deal could be confirmed as early as Monday, assuming all goes as planned.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is well-known as the chief executive of Ineos, a chemical giant. Sky Sports also reported that Ineos Sports, an arm of Ratcliffe’s company, will secure two boardroom seats at Manchester United as part of the transaction.
Neither Manchester United nor Ineos have issued an official statement in response to this news.
As of premarket trading on Thursday, shares of Manchester United Ltd. (MANU) are up 0.1%, recovering slightly after a 0.3% decline in the previous session. Nevertheless, the stock has experienced a 15.9% decrease in 2023, while the S&P 500 index has marked an 18.5% gain.
This takeover endeavor by Ratcliffe comes after a long-standing battle with Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim to gain control of Manchester United from the Glazer family, who have owned the iconic soccer club since 2005. Bloomberg previously reported that Ratcliffe was making adjustments to his bid in order to break the deadlock.
In November 2022, the Glazers revealed that they were exploring options for their investment in or an outright sale of the Premier League club.
Manchester United made headlines last month with the announcement of CEO Richard Arnold stepping down from his role. In his place, Patrick Stewart, currently serving as the General Counsel, will take on the role of interim CEO. The club has also mentioned that they will initiate a search process to find a new permanent CEO.
On Wednesday, Manchester United achieved an impressive victory over Chelsea with a score of 2-1, elevating the club to sixth place in the Premier League standings. Their next match is scheduled for Saturday when Bournemouth will visit the iconic Old Trafford stadium.