Sir Jim Ratcliffe believes he is still firmly in the race to buy Manchester United, saying his company INEOS remain “in the process,” The Atlantic reports.
The protracted battle to purchase the Premier League club has been a two-horse race between 70-year-old Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation.
Sheikh Jassim lodged a revised fifth bid in June in an attempt to seize control, with Raine Group, the US bank instructed to oversee any sale, seeking a valuation closer to the Glazer family’s £6billion.
But Ratcliffe, founder of petrochemical company INEOS, insists he will not give up in his attempt to buy the club he supported as a boy.
He said at a Knightsbridge book launch: “We still very much would like to do it. There is still a process, we are in the process.
“We have a good offer. We have met the Glazers a couple of times and had a good conversation but at the end of the day, it’s their decision.
“We still very much would like to do it. I also believe we would do a good job and do it for the right reasons. We keep very focused on it.
“They aren’t making them any more, Manchester United and these type of clubs. It’s like art or areas like that when you have special things and their value continues to pick up over time because they are very special and rare.”
Ratcliffe visited United in March with a delegation that included Sir David Brailsford, the former British Cycling executive who is now INEOS’ director of sport.
The Glazer family completed a leveraged buyout of the club back in 2005 but announced in November plans to identify “strategic alternatives” that could lead to a potential sale.
Initial bids from Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are not thought to have surpassed £5billion ($6.14bn) during the first round back in February. Both were given extra time to submit further offers.
Multiple other proposals for investment have also previously been tabled, with US hedge fund Elliott Investment Management among groups to have offered capital to potential bidders and the Glazer family.