International Finance
Business Leaders Featured

Business Leader of the Week: Meet Jim Ratcliffe, British billionaire & part-owner of Manchester United

IFM_Jim Ratcliffe
Jim Ratcliffe's first job was with oil giant Esso, but he decided to broaden his skills in finance by studying management accounting at the London Business School

INEOS is a multinational conglomerate that is a major player in the chemical industry worldwide. Since its founding in 1998, it has grown quickly and now operates in many different industries, such as chemicals, oil and gas, refining, and renewable energy. INEOS, a global manufacturing company with its headquarters located in London, has operations in more than 180 countries. The company’s dedication to efficiency, innovation, and sustainability is the foundation of its success.

In the chemical industry, INEOS is a significant manufacturer of speciality chemicals, petrochemicals, and raw materials for a range of sectors, including the building, automotive, and healthcare industries. Products such as PVC, polypropylene, and polyethylene, which are essential components in manufacturing processes worldwide, are part of its extensive portfolio. Additionally, INEOS is a market leader in the ethanol production industry, which is essential to the development of renewable energy sources.

INEOS has become a major player in the oil and gas industry through acquisitions and wise investments. Being able to refine crude oil into necessities like gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel is made possible by the company’s ownership and operation of multiple refineries. To further diversify its energy portfolio, INEOS has also ventured into shale gas production and exploration.

As the need for sustainable solutions grows, INEOS has been making significant investments in renewable energy projects. Its efforts in wind energy, biofuels, and hydrogen production demonstrate its dedication to cutting carbon emissions and lessening the negative effects on the environment.

In addition to its primary business operations, INEOS has gained attention for its engagement in prominent sports endeavours. Particularly, the company is a sponsor of the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team and has also ventured into the realm of yacht racing, competing in renowned competitions such as the America’s Cup.

INEOS remains committed to expanding and diversifying its business, utilising its knowledge and assets to meet the changing demands of global industries, all while prioritising sustainability and innovation.

The brain behind this successful venture is 71-year-old Jim Ratcliffe, a British billionaire, chemical engineer, businessman and the founder of the company.

    Who Is Jim Ratcliffe?

  • Jim Ratcliffe was born and brought up in Failsworth, Lancashire, North West England
  • He studied chemical engineering at Birmingham University, gaining a BSc, and later gained an MBA from London Business School in 1980
  • Jim Ratcliffe’s first job was with oil giant Esso, but he decided to broaden his skills in finance by studying management accounting at the London Business School
  • Later he joined the US private equity group Advent International in 1989
  • In 1998, Jim Ratcliffe formed INEOS, and later bought BP’s refining and petrochemical arm Innovene, giving INEOS refineries and plants in Scotland, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium and Canada
  • He moved INEOS’s head office from Hampshire to Rolle, Switzerland, decreasing the amount of tax the company paid by £100m a year
  • In the Sunday Times Rich List 2018, Jim Ratcliffe was named as the richest man in the UK, with a net worth of 21.05 billion pounds
  • In 2021, he announced plans to invest more than 2 billion euros (1.7 billion pounds) into electrolysis projects to make zero-carbon green hydrogen across Europe
  • Jim Ratcliffe is keen on sport and in 2013; he completed the Marathon Des Sables across the Sahara Desert
  • He was granted an honorary fellowship by the Institution of Chemical Engineers citing ‘his sustained leadership in building the INEOS Group’, In May 2009
  • As of May 2023, the Sunday Times Rich List 2023 estimated Jim Ratcliffe’s net worth at 29.688 billion pounds, making him the second wealthiest figure in the UK

Meet Jim Ratcliffe, The New Part-Owner Of Manchester United

Jim Ratcliffe is an avid sports lover. In 2013, the British billionaire completed the “Marathon Des Sables” across the Sahara Desert. He has also established a charity named “Go Run for Fun”, encouraging children aged between five and ten to get active by creating celebrity-driven events. Ratcliffe also supported the 2019 INEOS 1:59 Challenge, a successful effort by Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge to run the classic marathon distance (42.195 kilometres or 26 miles 385 yards) under 2 hours.

Jim Ratcliffe also purchased Lausanne-Sport, a Swiss Super League club, in 2017. Through INEOS, the businessman bought French football club Nice in 2019. As the Ukraine war started in 2022, sanctions on Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, long-term owner of Premier League side Chelsea, forced him to sell the club. Jim Ratcliffe made an unsuccessful 4.25 billion pound bid to buy the club, as American businessman Todd Boehly got the ownership.

Immediately after that, Jim Ratcliffe showed his interest in buying Manchester United, the English Premier League giant (the businessman’s favourite club as well). In January 2023, INEOS announced entering into the formal process of bidding for Manchester United, as the Glazer family, the then owners of the club, started looking for new investors.

On 24 December 2023, Manchester United announced that Jim Ratcliffe had acquired a 25% stake in the club, as INEOS Sport assumed control over the football operations. The purchase was completed in February 2024.

While INEOS has made investments into other sports like sailing, professional cycling, rugby and Formula One, the venture’s role will be crucial in reviving Manchester United’s fortune, which since the departure of its legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, has been below par in the English and world football circuits, apart from being embroiled in too many off the field controversies.

Jim Ratcliffe’s biggest test will come in the upcoming summer transfer season, as the club has already offloaded more than a dozen players in the January 2024 window. Reports suggest that as many as eleven more footballers are now facing an uncertain future in the club, as INEOS is eyeing wholesale changes to bring the English giant back to the path of glory.

What's New

Start-up of the Week: The ‘du-it’ revolution in Malaysia’s BNPL scene

IFM Correspondent

Saudi wealth fund increases holdings in Chinese stocks, gains from Alibaba windfall

IFM Correspondent

Saudi Ports Authority issues new licenses to strengthen logistics sector

IFM Correspondent

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.