The head of Mercedes Formula One, Toto Wolff, has provided an update regarding Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s potential acquisition of a 25 percent share in Manchester United.
In a recent statement, Toto Wolff indicated that Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid to secure a part of the prestigious football club seems to be a distant reality, dampening the hopes of many fans. Speaking with Sky Sports during the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, the Austrian billionaire commented on a conversation he had with the INEOS mogul, expressing that Ratcliffe’s proposed investment is far from being finalized.
The potential transaction became public when Manchester United’s present proprietors, the Glazer family, announced they were considering selling the club in November 2022. Sir Jim Ratcliffe emerged as a prospective buyer among others, including Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, who has since withdrawn from consideration after initially proposing a full takeover bid valued at £5 billion.
At 71, Ratcliffe remains the sole contender vying for the football titan, with an offer on the table for a 25 percent stake, amounting to £1.5 billion. This arrangement would leave the Glazers still firmly in control with the majority shares.
Despite the seeming progress of the negotiations, Wolff’s insights reveal that the transaction is not imminent. During the interview, he touched upon the possibility of his involvement in Ratcliffe’s bid. “I was asked about Jim’s investment and if I would join in,” Wolff said. “And I said ‘He’s such a clever person.’ If I could contribute, we’d have a chat but no, that’s very far away.”
This latest news serves as a setback for Manchester United enthusiasts who have been eagerly anticipating the exit of the Glazer family. The relationship between the fans and the American owners has been fraught with tension, exacerbated by the lack of transparency surrounding the sale process and the club’s underperformance on the field.