The Ineos firm, owned by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, has formally entered the bidding for Manchester United.
Ratcliffe is eager to reach a deal, and United’s owners, the Glazer family, stated in November that they would be open to hearing proposals for the Premier League team.
Ratcliffe, a lifelong supporter of United who tried unsuccessfully to purchase Chelsea for £4.25 billion ($5.2 billion) last year, has long been associated with the club from Old Trafford.
“We have formally put ourselves into the process,” an Ineos spokesperson told the BBC.
Ratcliffe is looking for another Premier League behemoth after his failed takeover of Chelsea when Roman Abramovich sold the Blues to American entrepreneur Todd Boehly and his group.
The 70-year-interest old’s in replacing the Glazers, who are located in the United States, has not yet received a response from United.
Ratcliffe, who was born in Failsworth, Greater Manchester, is one of the richest individuals in the country and might be more popular with the United fans than the Glazers, who have seen several fan protests throughout their tumultuous rule.
Due to the team’s recent on-field struggles, the Glazers, who completed a leveraged buyout of the club in 2005, have encountered extreme opposition from fans.
They have long been accused of pulling more money out than they have put in terms of transfer funding, and their purchase of United also left the club with enormous debts.
By supporting the unsuccessful European Super League initiative in April 2021, which would have resulted in the team joining a breakaway competition, the Glazers infuriated United fans even more.
A statement from United in November said the board will “consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company.”
United last won a major prize six years ago and hasn’t won the Premier League since 2013.
United, which had a miserable sixth-place finish in the Premier League last year, has been revitalized by manager Erik ten Hag and is currently fourth after defeating archrival Manchester City 2-1 on Saturday.
Ineos is eager to grow its sports portfolio, which currently includes ownership of the cycling team Ineos Grenadiers, formerly Team Sky, as well as the French club Nice and Swiss team FC Lausanne-Sport.
After the country’s sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal suggested in November that there “could” be interest in buying United and Liverpool, who are both up for sale, Ratcliffe may face competition from Saudi Arabian investors.
United, who are estimated to be worth over £5 billion, are being advised by the American financial group Raine Group, who handled the sale of Chelsea.