MANCHESTER, England ( Associated Press) – Jim Ratcliffe has joined a bid to buy Manchester United.
The billionaire owners of petrochemical firm INEOS are set to make an offer to United’s owners, the American Glazer family, which in November signaled a desire to sell the Premier League team.
“We formally involve ourselves in the process,” INEOS published in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Ratcliffe, one of Britain’s richest men, is a fan of United and had previously expressed a desire to buy the team.
However, during the summer INEOS indicated that it was no longer interested in making a bid for the Premier League club and would instead turn its attention to France’s Nice, which it already owns.
His position has changed now that the Glazers are open for sale.
The family, which also claims the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, outlined a plan to raise funds in November.
The Glazers said in a statement at the time, “As part of the process, the board has considered all alternative strategies, including new investment in the club, the sale and other transactions involving the company.”
Ratcliffe submitted a late offer to acquire Chelsea last year after the team was put up for sale by previous owner Roman Abramovich.
A consortium led by Todd Bohli and Clearlake Capital eventually secured a 2.5 billion pound ($3 billion) deal for Chelsea, including a long-term commitment of 1.75 billion euros ($2 billion).
There have been reports of interest from the United States, the Middle East and Asia to acquire United, but INEOS is the first group to publicly confirm its interest in the purchase process.
The late Malcolm Glazer bought United in 2005 for £790 million ($1.4 billion).