Manchester United valued at $5.4 billion as Ineos billionaire Jim Ratcliffe buys 25% stake at $33 per share

December 26, 2023 | by


Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has made the purchase of a 25% stake in Manchester United, beating out rival bids to become a significant shareholder in the prestigious football club. Through his company Ineos Group, Ratcliffe has acquired the stake for $33 per share, valuing Manchester United at approximately $5.4 billion. This purchase brings an end to a heated bidding war that saw speculation and excitement reminiscent of transfer deadlines in the sports world. Ratcliffe’s acquisition solidifies his growing personal sporting empire, which already includes ownership of France’s Ligue 1 OGC Nice and a stake in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team, among other investments. The decision to sell a minority stake in Manchester United by the Glazer family, who have faced protests from fans over the years, has drawn both support and criticism. Attention now turns to Ratcliffe’s plans and ability to revive and elevate the club’s position in English, European, and global football.

Manchester United valued at $5.4 billion as Ineos billionaire Jim Ratcliffe buys 25% stake at $33 per share

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Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has recently completed the purchase of a 25% stake in Manchester United, ending a bidding war and valuing the club at $5.4 billion. This article will delve into the background information surrounding this acquisition, including Ratcliffe’s chemical conglomerate Ineos Group, the purchase price of $33 per share, and the falling short of initial valuation hopes. It will also discuss the details of Ratcliffe’s stake acquisition, including the investment of $300 million into the club and the new investors receiving two board seats.

Background Information

Manchester United is a renowned football club with a rich history and a global fan base. The Glazer family has owned the club since 2005, following a leveraged buyout that saddled the club with massive debts. Over the years, the family has faced criticism and distrust from hardcore supporters due to the debt burden and perceived mismanagement of the club. This sale of a minority stake comes after years of fan protests and calls for the Glazers to step down as owners.

Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe’s Purchase of Stake

Jim Ratcliffe is a billionaire and the CEO of Ineos Group, a chemical conglomerate. Through Ineos Group, Ratcliffe has purchased a 25% stake in Manchester United at a price of $33 per share, valuing the club at $5.4 billion. Although this falls short of the club’s initial hopes of a $6 billion valuation, it marks the end of a long and highly anticipated sale process. Ratcliffe emerged as the front-runner in the bidding war, defeating rival bids from petro-states and hedge funds.

Ratcliffe’s acquisition of the stake includes an investment of $300 million into the club. Additionally, the new investors will be granted two board seats, giving them a significant voice in the club’s decision-making processes.

Manchester United valued at $5.4 billion as Ineos billionaire Jim Ratcliffe buys 25% stake at $33 per share

Rival Bids and Bidding War

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, the third son of Qatar’s former prime minister, was Ratcliffe’s main rival in the bidding war for Manchester United. Sheikh Jassim aimed to gain outright control of the club, but ultimately withdrew his bid, citing an unwillingness to overpay. The Qatari group had previously expressed their reluctance towards football investments in the Premier League.

Ratcliffe’s victory over the rival bid cemented the Glazer family’s desire to maintain Manchester United as the world’s most expensive sporting asset. Despite the earlier controversies surrounding their ownership, the Glazers were unwilling to let go of the club for a valuation they deemed insufficient.

Ratcliffe’s Management of the Club

With the acquisition of the stake in Manchester United, Jim Ratcliffe joins Joel and Avram Glazer in managing the club. Ratcliffe inherited the ownership from Malcolm Glazer, the father of Joel and Avram, who made a fortune from various investments including real estate and broadcasting. This acquisition also aligns with Ratcliffe’s plans to build a personal sporting empire, having previously attempted to buy Chelsea FC.

It remains to be seen how fans will react to the continuation of the Glazer family’s involvement in the club. The family has faced years of protest from supporters who seek new ownership and a change in the club’s direction.

Raine Group’s Involvement in the Sale

The sale of the stake in Manchester United was managed by Raine Group, an investment bank. Raine Group was selected to lead the sale process, drawing comparisons to their involvement in the sale of Chelsea FC. Interestingly, there were limited significant parties publicly declaring their interest in buying Manchester United, with financial groups mainly putting forward minority stake bids. This lack of interest may be attributed to rising interest rates and concerns about the club’s valuation.

Challenges Faced by Manchester United

Manchester United has faced numerous challenges in recent years. Years of under-performance on the field have disappointed fans and impacted the club’s reputation. Additionally, the club’s stadium has been described as dilapidated, requiring renovation and modernization.

Ratcliffe’s Ambitions for Manchester United

Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of a stake in Manchester United demonstrates his ambition to restore the club to its glory days. Ratcliffe aims to bring Manchester United back to the top of English, European, and world football. These lofty goals will require significant investment and focused efforts to improve the team’s on-field performance and upgrade the club’s infrastructure.


Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of a stake in Manchester United marks the end of a lengthy sale process and the beginning of a new era for the club. With his considerable investment and ambitions, Ratcliffe aims to turn around the club’s fortunes and return it to the pinnacle of football success. The Glazer family’s decision to retain a minority stake in the club may raise concerns among fans who have long called for new ownership. However, only time will tell how Ratcliffe’s involvement will shape the future of Manchester United.


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