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Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos in $330 million swoop for Singapore chemicals firm

·2-min read
Jim Ratcliffe still controls the  chemicals firm he founded in  1998  (AFP via Getty Images)
Jim Ratcliffe still controls the chemicals firm he founded in 1998 (AFP via Getty Images)

UK billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s company Ineos is buying a fellow chemicals firm in Singapore for $330 million, in a move that takes one of its main businesses into the Asian market.

Ineos Phenol will buy Mitsui Phenols Singapore from Mitsui Chemicals of Japan, adding over one million tonnes of production capacity to the group for compounds used to make materials used to make plastics, synthetic fibres such as nylon and solvents.

Ratcliffe was linked this week with a very different potential acquisition -- a stake in Manchester United. The current controversial owners of the Premier League team, the Glazer family of the US, indicated they may be willing to sell a stake in the club without giving up control. Manchester-born Ratcliffe -- who is worth almost $12 billion dollars according to Forbes, the US business magazine, -- is best known for taking the Ineos name into high-profile sports. He has publicly stated he is interested in buying the club, which has struggled to match the run of success it had on the pitch under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ineos already has a one-third stake in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team and its involvement with New Zealand’s All Blacks as the rugby team’s “performance partner”. It also owns French Ligue One side OGC Nice as well as Lausanne-Sport of the Swiss Super League and bankrolls the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team, formerly known as Team Sky after its previous sponsors.

Ineos is not a listed company and runs a range of autonomous divisions which, as a group, make up one of the top five biggest chemical businesses in the world, generating the revenue for Ratcliffe’s move into sport.

Ineos Phenol describes itself as the biggest maker of phenol and acetone operating in Germany, Belgium and USA.

“Adding production and supply capabilities in a prime location in Asia has been a long-term business objective,” said Hans Casier, the unit’s chief executive.

Mitsui Phenols Singapore has a turnover of $750 million and produces over one million tonnes of product each year.