Ratcliffe is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Ineos chemicals group, which he founded in 1998 and of which he still owns two-thirds, and which has been estimated to have a turnover of $15 billion in 2019. He does not have a high public profile, and has been described by The Sunday Times as “publicity shy”.
As of May 2018, he was the richest person in the UK, with a net worth of £21.05 billion. Little is known about his Mallorcan home, not even its exact location. When talking of Ratcliffe’s takeover of Team Sky, cycling legend Bradley Wiggins revealed he owns a home in Mallorca. “I’m aware of this guy but I’ve never met him,” Wiggins told Eurosport. “He’s got a house in Mallorca and he’s really into cycling, rides his bike, so I would imagine this is someone who loves cycling.”
Ratcliffe, a long-standing fan of the 20-times English champions, first declared his interest in August but said two months later he was told by the Glazers the Premier League side was not for sale when he contacted the family.
He had also failed this year in an attempt to buy London club Chelsea, ultimately bought by an investment group led by American Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.
Ratcliffe’s name was widely mentioned among United fans as someone many would welcome, although there are fears he might be priced out with some estimates putting the club’s worth at more than $4.5 billion. Chemical firm INEOS, where Ratcliffe is chairman, declined to comment. A source close to Ratcliffe said the billionaire was a potential buyer as he wants to help rebuild the team.
His INEOS Britannia, one of the teams challenging for the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona 2024, has set up its winter base in Palma and is curently testing the new yacht in Mallorcan waters.