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Sir Jim Ratcliffe Seals £1.3bn Deal for 27.7% Stake in Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe Seals £1.3bn Deal for 27.7% Stake in Manchester United
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a long-time fan of Manchester United and one of Britain’s wealthiest individuals, has officially completed his £1.3bn purchase of 27.7% of the club. This substantial investment considerably decreases the Glazer family's hold, pricing United at over £5bn in total. Born in the local suburb of Failsworth, Ratcliffe created his fortune through his company, Ineos.

Ratcliffe financed the deal with his personal funds and through a company named Trawlers Limited, named after a quote from Eric Cantona. With a reported $4bn in liquid assets, his wealth reaches far beyond that amount.

The 71-year-old investor will take control of football operations and has already commenced United's restructure. Omar Berrada from the City Football Group has been employed as their upcoming CEO, and Dan Ashworth, Newcastle's sporting director, is being considered for a position at Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe plans to invest an additional $300m (£238m) in infrastructure, elevating his stake in the club to 29%. This injection will be directed toward either the renovation of certain stands at Old Trafford or the construction of a new stadium.

Upon the deal's conclusion, Ratcliffe expressed his honour at becoming a co-owner of Manchester United and his intention to steer the club back to the zenith of English, European, and global football, creating top-tier facilities for supporters.

While the Glazer family will remain the primary shareholders, their stake will be smaller than before. Ratcliffe's purchase was authorized after receiving the nod from both the FA and the Premier League.

The agreement comes after a 15-month period following the Glazers' exploration of a sale in November 2022. Several offers were made on the club, including those from Qatari billionaire Sheikh Jassim, who desired full ownership. In contrast, Ratcliffe initially bid for a majority and later a minority shareholding.

With the new acquisition, Ratcliffe will acquire two seats on the football club board, which are expected to be filled by Sir Dave Brailsford and former Juventus CEO Jean-Claude Blanc. Ineos co-founder John Reece and Rob Nevin, the chairman of Ineos Sport, are targeted to join the plc board. If the Glazers opt to sell any of their shares next year, Ratcliffe will have the right of first refusal, and if they decide on a complete sale in 18 months, he will be obligated to sell all of his shares.
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