Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s minority investment at Manchester United is set to be confirmed on Sunday, sources told ESPN.
The British billionaire, chairman and CEO of chemical company INEOS, has agreed a deal worth around £1.3 billion ($1.6bn) for a 25% stake in the Premier League club.
United, according to sources, are expecting a further six to eight weeks of regulatory approvals from the Premier League before the deal is officially completed. Ratcliffe and INEOS are set to use the time to undertake their own audit but, according to a source, will not be able to exercise “decision-making power” until the agreement is ratified.
Manchester United declined to comment when contacted by ESPN.
The news comes more than a year after United’s owners, the Glazer Family, announced they were “exploring strategic alternatives for the club” including accepting investment or sanctioning a full sale.
Despite interest from Ratcliffe and Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani in a full takeover at Old Trafford, the Glazers opted to accept Ratcliffe’s offer to buy a minority stake
Sources said that under the terms of the agreement, the Glazers, headed by co-chairmen Joel and Avram Glazer, will remain at the club as majority shareholders.
The Glazers have been deeply unpopular with fans since their heavily-leveraged buy-out of the club in 2005.
Sources previously told ESPN that the deal will also give Ratcliffe influence over the football side of the business. Sir Dave Brailsford, director of sport at INEOS, is expected to be heavily involved.
Ahead of confirmation of Ratcliffe’s involvement at United, CEO Richard Arnold announced he would be stepping down. Patrick Stewart was named as interim CEO with Arnold providing “transitional support” until the end of December.