MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Jim Ratcliffe will be in the bid to buy Manchester United.
The billionaire owner of petrochemical company INEOS is set to make an offer to United’s owners, the Glazer family, who have expressed their willingness to sell the Premier League club in November.
“We have formally entered the process,” INEOS said in a statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Ratcliffe, one of the richest people in Britain, is a United fan and has previously expressed his desire to buy the club.
However, INEOS said in the summer that it was no longer interested in bidding for any Premier League club and would instead turn its attention to French outfit Nice, which it already owns.
That position has changed now that United’s American owners, the Glazer family, are prepared to sell.
The family, which also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, outlined plans to seek outside financing in November.
“As part of this process, the board will consider all strategic alternatives, including a new investment in the club, a sale or other transactions involving the company,” it said in a statement at the time.
Ratcliffe made a late offer to buy Chelsea last year when former owner Roman Abramovich put the London club up for sale.
A consortium led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital finally secured a deal worth 2.5 billion pounds ($3 billion) for Chelsea, which also included a commitment of 1.75 billion pounds ($2 billion) of additional investment.
There have been reports of interest from the US, the Middle East and Asia in buying United, but INEOS is the first to publicly confirm that it has entered the bidding process.
The late tycoon Malcolm Glazer bought United in 2005 for 790 million pounds (about $1.4 billion).
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