Manchester, Feb 13: The Premier League has approved Jim Ratcliffe's proposed bid to buy a minority stake in Manchester United, the club said.
In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, United said it had already been granted approval under its rules over who is allowed to be an owner or director of a soccer club. It also said it expected clearance from the Football Association as British billionaire Ratcliffe closes in on the completion of his deal to buy 25% of the club. Premier League 2023-24: Aston Villa Confirms Significant Knee Injury to Boubacar Kamara After Scan
League rules disqualify people from becoming owners or directors for reasons such as criminal convictions, sporting bans or involvement in other clubs.
Ratcliffe is one of Britain's richest people and the owner of petrochemicals giant INEOS. He agreed to a deal to buy a stake in United in December and on Monday the deadline for completion was extended from Feb. 14 to Feb. 17.
As part of the deal, Racliffe's INEOS Sport division will take over control of United's soccer operation after more than a decade since it won the Premier League title and consistent decline in its on-field performance. The 71-year-old Ratcliffe was a boyhood United fan and last month described his proposed investment as the most exciting deal he has in his career.
“I have done a few exciting things, but there is no question (about that),” he said. Ratcliffe has paid $1.3 billion for “up to 25%” of the club and will invest a further $300 million for “future investment into Old Trafford,” United has said.
Ratcliffe will provide $200 million upon completion of the deal and a further $100 million by the end of 2024. That additional investment will eventually take Ratcliffe's stake up to 29%. Owners, the Glazer family, will have a 49% stake under the deal. Crystal Palace 1–3 Chelsea, Premier League 2023–24: Conor Gallagher Inspires Comeback Win for Blues Against Former Club (Watch Goal Video Highlights).
Under the filing, more details were provided about Ratcliffe's personal wealth which said his “liquid assets (primarily consisting of cash and readily marketable securities) were in excess of $4 billion.”
It said his net worth was “significantly in excess of those liquid assets”.
Shareholders must respond before 23:59 ET to tender their shares, United said.
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