The British group Ineos, which specializes in the chemical sector and already owns the Nice football clubs and FC Lausanne-Sport, has applied to buy the English team Manchester United, British media reported on Tuesday.
“We have formally entered the process,” a spokesman for the group controlled by Jim Ratcliffe, one of Britain’s richest men and the first to officially declare himself, told the BBC.
This is only the first step in a long process led by the investment bank Raines, mandated by the American owners of the club, the Glazer family.
The various parties will enter a phase of confidential negotiations and account reviews, before formal offers are tabled next month for a transaction that would be finalized at the end of the season.
An outspoken supporter of the Red Devils, Ratcliffe has already shown interest in Manchester United on several occasions in the past, although he has also tried to get his hands on Chelsea, finally sold last May to an American consortium for 4.25 billion books, a record.
In August, even before the Glazer family, United’s American owners, put the club up for sale to everyone’s surprise, an Ineos spokesperson said the businessman would be “certainly a potential buyer”. .
The owners of Manchester United announced the sale of Manchester United on November 22, a few tens of minutes after the announcement of the termination of the contract of Cristiano Ronaldo.
“The board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment in the club, sale or other transactions involving the company,” the club explained at the time.
The scenario of a total sale of the club seems to be the preferred track. The Glazers, at the head of the club since 2005, are extremely unpopular with supporters who consider them responsible for the sporting decline in recent years (the last title of the Red Devils in the Premier League dates back to 2013). They are hoping for offers of around 5 billion pounds (5.8 billion EUR), which would be a record amount.