Sir Jim Ratcliffe won't pay 'stupid' price to buy Manchester United

[22-03-2023 11:49 AM]

Ammon News - Billionaire businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe says he will not pay a "stupid" price to acquire Manchester United.

The Ineos chief executive confirmed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that he and his representatives held talks with with United owners the Glazers last week during a visit to Old Trafford and the club's Carrington training complex.

Italian jockey Frankie Dettori will be aiming for a record fifth Dubai World Cup win on the same horse he rode to victory last year.

Ratcliffe is one of two interested parties to have publicly announced their bids to Raine, the merchant bank brought in to assist the club in assessing offers.

The other is Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, whose delegation visited United the day before Ratcliffe’s trip.

Elliott Investment Management has also reportedly made it through to the second stage of the process, although the firm is said to be offering funding rather than a takeover.

“How do you decide the price of a painting? How do you decide the price of a house? It’s not related to how much it cost to build or how much it cost to paint," Ratcliffe, 70, told the Journal.

“What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because then you regret it subsequently.”

It is believed that the Glazers value the club at £5 billion, though no financial details have been released about bids submitted so far. The Americans have been massively unpopular with United fans since their leveraged £790m takeover in 2005. There have been several large-scale protests against their ownership.

United were debt-free before the takeover but the Glazers have reportedly taken £1 billion out of the club to service their debt, as well as paying themselves huge dividends.

The Glazer family announced in November they were willing to listen to offers for the club, which they bought in 2005.

Manchester-born billionaire Ratcliffe, a childhood United fan, already owns or has significant investment in a string of sports teams including French football club Nice.

Ratcliffe made a last-minute bid to buy Chelsea last year after they were put on the market by Roman Abramovich, who was forced to sell the club due to his alleged ties to Russia President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

An American consortium headed by Todd Boehly won the bid to take over the West London club, paying £2.5bn, and vowing to commit £1.75bn in further investment.

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