British chemicals behemoth Ineos confirms deal to buy Swiss football club Lausanne-Sport

Oliver Gill
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FC Lausanne Sport and CSKA Moscow player
Lausanne reported to Switzerland's top tier last season after a spell in the country's second division (Source: Getty)

Chemicals giant Ineos, Britain's biggest privately-owned company, today confirmed a deal to buy continental Europe's oldest football club.

Lausanne Sport, which has roots dating back to 1860, is to be bought by Ineos and billionaire owner Jim Ratcliffe.

The oldest recognised football club in the world is English Northern Premier League side Sheffield FC.

Last month, Ratcliffe, who owns 60 per cent of the world's ninth largest chemicals firm, made his first foray into the fashion world when he picked iconic fashion brand Belstaff.

Read more: Ineos has completed its acquisition of BP's Forties Pipeline System

The 69-year-old also has plans to create a new vehicle like Jaguar Land Rover's famous Defender, which was discontinued in 2016.

Lausanne returned to the Swiss top flight last season after being relegated to the country's second division in 2010. The team has entertained top European teams, delivering a shock upset in the Europa League in 2011 by beating Russian group favourites Lokomotiv Moscow.

Ineos employs 17,000 staff globally and boasted revenues of nearly £20bn in 2016.

David Thompson, CEO of Ineos Football, said: “Ineos is excited about taking this major step into top-class football as part of our wider commitment to encourage youth sport in Lausanne and Canton Vaud.

“We hope and expect that this new investment in the team will take football club Lausanne-Sport forward to further success, and we see no reason why this could not mean playing in Europe,” Thompson added.

Read more: Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos is making a move into the fashion world

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