Ineos billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is willing to buy a stake in Manchester United if controlling owners the Glazer family are inviting new investors, a spokesman for the petrochemicals group said.
Speculation as to the ownership structure of the English Premier League club erupted Wednesday after a Bloomberg report indicated the US-based Glazer family are considering a sale of a minority stake. Shares of Man United, which are traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange, rose more than 6 per cent in afternoon trading.
Ratcliffe, the owner of petrochemicals company Ineos, previously led an ultimately unsuccessful £4.25bn bid to buy Chelsea FC earlier this year.
“Yes, we are interested if the club is for sale”, an Ineos spokesman said Wednesday. A spokesperson for Man United declined to comment.
Manchester United is at the bottom of the English Premier League ladder after opening the new season with two losses. Local rivals Manchester City are top of the table.
The Glazers bought Man United in a £790mn leveraged buyout in 2005 that made the family instantly unpopular with fans for saddling the club with debt.