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Meet Jim Ratcliffe, the chemicals tycoon worth $11 billion and lifelong Manchester United fan who wants to buy the soccer club

Jim RatcliffeJim Ratcliffe was knighted in 2018.

VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images

  • Jim Ratcliffe is one of Britain’s richest people who’s worth more than $11 billion, per Bloomberg.
  • A lifelong Manchester United fan, the 70-year-old is one of the bidders for the soccer team. 
  • From owning a cycling team to sponsoring the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, here’s a look at his life.
Jim Ratcliffe is the founder and chief executive of Ineos, one of the world’s largest chemical companies.British INEOS Group chairman and OGC Nice's owner Jim Ratcliffe looks on before the French Cup final football match between OGC Nice and FC Nantes at the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis.

Getty/Bertrand Guay

Source: Ineos

A lifelong Manchester United fan, Ratcliffe submitted this week for the soccer team.A detailed view of the corner flag inside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford.

Getty/Catherine Ivill

Source: BBC

He’s vowed to “put the Manchester back into Manchester United.”Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United.

Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Source: BBC

Ratcliffe is competing against Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, who submitted a revised bid for the club on Saturday, and Finnish entrepreneur Thomas Zilliacus, per BBC Sport.Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United.

Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Source: BBC

The initial bids were thought to be about $4.2 billion, per Sky Sports News. The Glazer family, which bought Manchester for almost £800 million in 2005, are thought to be seeking between £5 billion and £6 billion ($6.1 billion to $7.3 billion).A Manchester United fan holds up a "GO Glazers Out" sign prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford on May 18, 2021 in Manchester, England. A limited number of fans will be allowed into Premier League stadiums as Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease in the UK following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Getty/Laurence Griffiths

Source: Sky Sports

The 70-year-old magnate is worth more than $11 billion, per Bloomberg, and made his fortune in the chemicals industry.British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg Billionaires Index

Ratcliffe, who lives in Monaco, also owns an estate in Hampshire, England.Swans on the lake at Beaulieu in Hampshire, England.

Getty Images

Source: Hampshire Live, The Guardian

Ratcliffe was born in Manchester and lived in public housing until he was 10 years old.Manchester, New Hampshire.

DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

Source: Headspace

At 18, Ratcliffe went to Birmingham University to study chemical engineering before completing an MBA at London Business School.The Gardens of the University of Birmingham Campus, UK

Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg

After graduating in 1974, he worked as an engineer for the oil company Esso, owned by ExxonMobil, and for BP before joining the fabric and chemicals producer Courtaulds.esso gas

Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images

Source: Headspace, BBC

He was headhunted in 1989 by private equity firm Advent and started looking for investment opportunities.Jim Ratcliffe

VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg, Headspace

He joined forces with former chemicals executive John Hollowood and bought BP’s chemicals division in 1992. Two years later it listed on the London Stock Exchange and was worth £100 million (about $150 million then).Jim Ratcliffe

AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Source: BBC

The business became Inspec, with Hollowood as chairman and Ratcliffe as CEO.British INEOS Group chairman Jim Ratcliffe poses upon his arrival for the 73rd edition of the Red Cross Gala at the Casino in Monte Carlo on July 18, 2022.

Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images

Source: BBC

In 1998 Ratcliffe set up his own firm called Ineos.the INEOS Group logo seen displayed on a smartphone.

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Source: BBC

Ratcliffe is the majority shareholder and decided not to float the company, which has let him to move quickly on deals.FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured in the headquarters of INEOS chemicals company in Rolle, Switzerland, November 13, 2017.   REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Reuters

Source: BBC

Green groups criticized him after Ineos imported the first shipment of US shale gas, which is derived from fracking, to the UK in 2016.FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured in the headquarters of INEOS chemicals company in Rolle, Switzerland, November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Thomson Reuters

Source: BBC

Ratcliffe was knighted in 2018, making him Sir Jim, but reportedly moved to Monaco in 2020, which does not levy personal or capital gains tax. He declined to confirm the move but told the BBC he tried to “give back to the UK” and had invested billions in the country.Panoramic overview of Port Hercule in Monaco.

John Greim/LightRocket/Getty Images

Source: BBC

In 2016 Ratcliffe started thinking about producing a 4×4 after Land Rover announced it was discontinuing the Defender.The Ineos Grenadier SUV.

Ineos

Source: The Times of London

He went ahead with the idea and the Ineos Grenadier starts at £55,000 ($67,000). “It’s a combination of British knowhow and German engineering,” he told The Times of London.The Ineos Grenadier off-road SUV.

Ineos

Source: Ineos Grenadier. The Times of London

In 2017, Ratcliffe bought the luxury motorcycle wear maker Belstaff, whose jackets were once worn by actor Steve McQueen and David Beckham.belstaff jacket1

Brittany Fields

Source: BBC

Ratcliffe bought the cycling team Team Sky in 2019 and renamed it the Ineos Grenadiers.Tour de France bikes ranked 2020 INEOS PinarelloTeam Ineos Grenadiers rides Pinarello bikes.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

Source: Ineos Grenadiers

In 2020, Ineos signed a partnership with Formula One, sponsoring Mercedes-AMG Petronas. “They have consistently shown that they are at the forefront of technological innovation and human performance,” Ratcliffe said at the time.INEOS Founder and Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe (L) and Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO of The Mercedes AMG-PETRONAS F1 Team (R) pose for a photo with a Mercedes F1 car.

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Source: Ineos

Ineos has a third of the team along with Mercedes-Benz Group and Toto Wolff.Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates with Ineos CEO Sir Jim Ratcliffe on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 09, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain.

Emilio Morenatti – Pool/Getty Images

Source: Ineos

Ratcliffe became the owner of Swiss Super League team FC Lausanne-Sport in 2017 and French soccer club Nice two years later.Nice's French defender Jean-Clair Toddite controls the ball during the French L1 football match between OGC Nice and FC Lorient at the Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice, south-eastern France, on March 19, 2023.

Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Ineos

Ratcliffe also backed a luxury clubhouse in the French ski resort of Courchevel, where he and his daughter have skied for years.Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Courchevel, France.

Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images; Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images;

Source: The Guardian

He also reportedly owns a superyacht, the Hampshire II, which was built in 2012.Jim Ratcliffe of Great Britain INEOS Founder And Chairman / Christopher Froome of Great Britain and Team INEOS / Dave Brailsford of Great Britain Team Manager of Team INEOS / during the Team INEOS.

Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images

Source: SuperYacht Fan.

He tried but failed to acquire Chelsea FC last year when Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich was forced to sell the team after Russia invaded Ukraine.Roman Abramovich no longer owns Chelsea FC.

Clive Mason/Getty Images

Source: BBC

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