Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made a last-minute, £4billion offer to buy Chelsea with the British billionaire taking on the three other consortiums vying for ownership of the Stamford Bridge club.
The owner of Ineos, the petrochemicals company, said he had held discussions with the Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck on Thursday and decided to make the stunning offer.
‘We put an offer in this morning,’ Ratcliffe told The Times. ‘We are the only British bid. Our motives are simply to try and create a very fine club in London.
‘We have no profit motive because we make our money in other ways.’
The Times reported that the British billionaire submitted his offer to Raine Group, the merchant bank conducting the sale process, on Friday morning.
Ratcliffe said his offer would include an investment of £1.75bn over 10 years to develop Stamford Bridge and other club infrastructure as well as sustaining the team at a high level.
This is on top of the £2.5bn valuation of the club the prospective new owners have to meet. His personal net worth is estimated at £12bn.
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He has a season ticket at Chelsea despite being a Manchester United supporter. Ineos already own the Ligue 1 club Nice.
Ratcliffe, who has already discussed the deal with the government, said Ineos would be able to close the deal this weekend if necessary.