Founder of Ineos and one of Britain’s richest men Sir Jim Ratcliffe has officially entered the race to buy Premier League club Manchester United.
The current owners, the Glazer family, have appointed a merchant bank – believed to be the Raine Group – to take bids for the Manchester Club, which could fetch up to £8bn.
“We have formally put ourselves into the process,” an Ineos spokesperson said.
Ratcliffe’s registration of interest comes nearly a year after he launched a late bid to purchase Chelsea – which was eventually sold for £2.5bn to a consortium led by Todd Boehly.
The merchant bank are currently taking bids for the club with proposals also expected to be tabled from the Middle East, Asia and America.
Reports suggest that the Glazer family want a deal completed by the end of the current Premier League season in May but it’s as yet unknown whether the American owners are willing to give up a majority stake in the club or a minority holding.
The Glazer family said in November that they were “commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives” for the club with “new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company” set to be considered.
Ratcliffe is a boyhood United fan and has previously expressed an interest in acquiring a stake in the club.
Ineos own a Grand Tour cycling team and have sponsorship deals with the America’s Cup, the All Blacks rugby union team, Mercedes Formula 1 and Tottenham Hotspur.
The petrochemicals billionaire also owns football clubs Nice in France and Lausanne in Switzerland.
Formal bids are expected for Manchester United from next month while Liverpool are also taking bids for a sale.