Sir Jim Ratcliffe sets Man Utd objective as partial takeover confirmed

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After 15 months of twists and turns, Manchester United's takeover saga has finally been put to bed.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been officially confirmed as a partial owner of Manchester United.

The announcement was made on Tuesday night, ending months of speculation and reports about the club’s future. The Glazers announced in November 2022 that they were considering ‘strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions’. That saga has concluded with Ratcliffe buying a partial stake in the club of just over 25 percent, and the six Glazers siblings remaining as co-owners.

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In a statement the club said: – Manchester United and Trawlers Limited, an entity wholly-owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, are pleased to confirm that Sir Jim Ratcliffe has completed his acquisition of 25% of the club’s Class B shares and 25% of the club’s Class A shares, following the satisfaction of all conditions, including approvals from the Football Association and the Premier League."

Ratcliffe said: “To become co-owner of Manchester United is a great honour and comes with great responsibility. This marks the completion of the transaction, but just the beginning of our journey to take Manchester United back to the top of English, European and world football, with world-class facilities for our fans. Work to achieve those objectives will accelerate from today.”

News that Ratcliffe had agreed to purchase a partial stake in the club was first confirmed on Christmas Eve, a deadline which the Ineos lead shareholder set to ensure the deal would be concluded. Since then, Ratcliffe has been making his presence felt with an Ineos delegate in attendance at every game.

The 71-year-old was at the Tottenham Hotspur game at Old Trafford in January and also met Erik ten Hag, the players, staff, fan representatives, local politicians and members of the media. Ratcliffe played a significant part in the appointment of Omar Berrada as CEO from Manchester City, while United have since turned their attention to hiring Dan Ashworth and Jason Wilcox, as the new United shareholder begins assembling his ‘best-in-class’ set-up at Old Trafford.

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Ratcliffe’s investment in United gained approval from the Premier League and FA last week, with the final major hurdle the purchase of 25 percent of the club’s Class-A shares. That aspect has now been concluded, with Ratcliffe owing 27.7 percent of the club’s shares, and holding 28.71 percent of the vote.

In addition to the $1.3bn (£1.03bn) paid to purchase his stake in the club, Ratcliffe has also agreed to an investment of $300m (£238m) that has been set aside for club infrastructure.

The British billionaire ultimately emerged successfully from a takeover process that saw several parties express an interest in completing a deal to purchase the club, or a partial stake. Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani was his biggest competitor, but after the Qatari pulled out of the race in October 2023, it left Ratcliffe's path clear to complete his minority investment.

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