Sir Jim Ratcliffe has informed concerned INEOS creditors that he will tap into his personal wealth to finance his partial investment in Manchester United.
The 71-year-old is set to complete a partial 25% investment in United that will essentially make him a minority owner of his boyhood club.
The breakthrough for Sir Jim came after his main competitor in the United takeover race, Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani withdrew his bid.
It’s expected that the INEOS billionaire will be granted full control of the Red Devils’ sporting operations.
Reports relayed that Sir Jim is already planning a radical overhaul of United’s technical set-up with the likes of Paul Mitchell and Sir David Brailsford poised to join him.
The job of United chief executive Richard Arnold is also not safe, with the 52-year-old expected to step down when everything has been completed and an official announcement made.
Bloomberg gave some insight into the source of Sir Jim’s funds with respect to purchasing a 25% stake in United.
The financial journal reports, “British businessman Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group reassured creditors that he won’t tap companies in his chemical empire to finance a planned offer for a stake in Manchester United.”
“Executives at Ineos Quattro, a petrochemical unit of Ratcliffe’s group, told creditors on Monday that funding for the football team wouldn’t come from the company. He plans to use his personal wealth for any deal, people with knowledge of the matter said.”
As per Bloomberg, the discussions took place on a call earlier this week.
The main objective of the meeting was to deliberate on Ineos Quattro’s strategy and outlook for the chemical industry.
Jayanth Kandalam, deputy head of Europe at Lucror Analytics, who was present during the call remarked, “Management categorically stated that Quattro’s liquidity would not be available to fund the private projects of Ineos Limited’s owners.”
It’s understood that Sir Jim will be joined at United by fellow Ineos shareholders Andy Currie and John Reece.
Nevertheless, there remain genuine reservations that Sir Jim’s pursuit of United would translate to paying more dividends to shareholders in the event that additional cash is needed for the investment.
An INEOS representative told Bloomberg, “It was made very clear on the call that we will not see dividends payments for the purchase of Manchester United, which has nothing to do with Ineos Quattro. Any Manchester United transaction would come from sources of the owners.”