Sir Jim Ratcliffe has completed the purchase of a minority stake in Manchester United, acquiring 25% of the club for £1.25B.

Ratcliffe, the second richest man in England with an estimated net worth of £29B, will obtain 25% of United’s Class B shares, which were held by the Glazer family, and up to 25% of all Class A shares, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, at $33 (£26) each.

The deal, funded by Trawlers Limited, is said to be debt-free. The 71-year-old is reported to get first refusal should the Glazers, who bought the club through a leveraged buyout in 2005, opt to further dilute their shares.

The Ineos chairman will also invest £300M in Old Trafford’s ageing infrastructure. The club say $200M will be paid upon the completion of the transaction and a further $100M by the end of 2024.

Ratcliffe said: "As a local boy and a lifelong supporter of the Club, I am very pleased that we have been able to agree a deal with the Manchester United Board that delegates us management responsibility of the football operations of the Club.

"Whilst the commercial success of the Club has ensured there have always been available funds to win trophies at the highest level, this potential has not been fully unlocked in recent times.

Ratcliffe beat off competition from Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani to purchase a stake in the club (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Ratcliffe beat off competition from Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani to purchase a stake in the club (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

"We will bring the global knowledge, expertise and talent from the wider INEOS Sport group to help drive further improvement at the Club, while also providing funds intended to enable future investment into Old Trafford.

“We are here for the long term and recognise that a lot of challenges and hard work lie ahead, which we will approach with rigour, professionalism and passion. We are committed to working with everyone at the Club – the Board, staff, players and fans – to help drive the Club forward.

“Our shared ambition is clear: we all want to see Manchester United back where we belong, at the very top of English, European and world football.”

As part of the agreement Ratcliffe, who also owns French side Nice and Swiss club Lausanne, will take control of football operations and Ineos will be granted two seats on the club board. Ineos CEO and former PSG Marketing Executive Jean-Claude Blanc and Sir David Brailsford, Ineos’ Director of Sport, are favourites to receive said seats.

The petrochemicals billionaire is likely to appoint his own Sporting Director, with John Murtough facing an uncertain future. Paul Mitchell, Monaco’s former Sporting Director, has been perennially linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer, the club's executive co-chairman and directors, said: “We are delighted to have agreed this deal with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS. As part of the strategic review we announced in November 2022, we committed to look at a variety of alternatives to help enhance Manchester United, with a focus on delivering success for our men’s, women’s and Academy teams.

“Sir Jim and INEOS bring a wealth of commercial experience as well as significant financial commitment into the Club. And, through INEOS Sport, Manchester United will have access to seasoned high-performance professionals, experienced in creating and leading elite teams from both inside and outside the game.

"Manchester United has talented people right across the Club and our desire is to always improve at every level to help bring our great fans more success in the future.”

The Glazer family purchased the club in 2005 through a controversial leveraged buyout and have paid over £150M to themselves in dividends (Photo Dario Cantatore/Getty Images via NYSE Euronext)
The Glazer family purchased the club in 2005 through a controversial leveraged buyout and have paid over £150M to themselves in dividends since (Photo Dario Cantatore/Getty Images via NYSE Euronext)