Friday, May 6, 2022

Chelsea sale: Late £4bn bid from Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe

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A late new bid to buy Chelsea FC was made on Friday, with Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe confirming they hope to beat Roman Abramovich’s other three recent bids to buy the club.

The west London site has been up for sale since shortly before the government sanctioned the Russian oligarch in March in the wake of the invasion of Russia and his links to Vladimir Putin.

Three bids were considered by New York merchant bank The Raine Group after the fourth – from the Ricketts family – withdrew its bid in mid-March.

Ratcliffe’s offer is valued at £4bn, including £2.5bn for the initial purchase and a further £1.75bn over 10 years to fund improvements to the stadium and team, the report reports The times.

‘We made an offer this morning,’ said Ratcliffe. “We are the only British offer. Our motives are simply trying to start a very good club in London. We have no profit motive because we make our money in other ways.”

The same report further clarified that Ratcliffe had held talks with both Chelsea leader Bruce Buck and the government.

Ratcliffe’s bid is pitted against that of Boston Celtics owner Steve Pagliuca, LA Dodgers owner Todd Boehly and the consortium led by Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Sebastian Coe.

While the latter is being led by British former IAG Deputy Chairman Broughton, the group making up the overall investment appears to be diverse and the full list of parties involved is yet to be confirmed. It was recently revealed that seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton and American tennis legend Serena Williams have both pledged £10million for the total pool.

Pagliuca and his partner in the bid, Larry Tanenbaum, have said that if they win the race to buy the Stamford Bridge Club they are “committed that this is a lifetime possession”.

Ineos is a privately owned multinational chemicals company based in London with a long history of involvement in elite sport.

They sponsor the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team and have a primary association with Mercedes in Formula 1 and Ineos Team UK in sailing.

Abramovich is not allowed to profit from the sale and prior to being put up for sale he had already attempted to place Chelsea’s holdings with trustees of the club’s charitable foundation.

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