Grangemouth petrochemical plant owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s £4.25bn bid to buy Chelsea Football Club has been “rejected out of hand,” according to a senior Ineos executive.
Tom Crotty confirmed the offer for the London outfit, who have been put up for sale by current owner Roman Abramovich, had been turned down by US bank Raine, however added the firm had not abandoned their attempted purchase for the club.
A consortium fronted by Los Angeles Dodgers and Lakers minority owner, Todd Boehly, has now been given preferred bidder status and have entered into an ‘exclusivity period’ during which time they are free to negotiate with the club’s current owner.
Ratcliffe, one of Britain’s richest men, is understood to have pledged a £1.75bn investment in the Premier League side, its Stamford Bridge stadium and infrastructure on top of a further £2.5bn payment to a charitable trust set up by current owner Roman Abramovich to support victims of war in Ukraine.
Crotty told Bloomberg the firm would “continue to engage with the fanbase,” adding: “We see ourselves as a fan-based bid.”
Earlier this week, it was reported Abramovich was attempting to go back on his promise to write off a £1.6bn loan to the club, throwing its sale into doubt.
Two other consortiums, both with backing from owners of American sports teams, have already been registered for the current European champions after Abramovich announced his decision to end his near-20 year ownership of the club amid alleged links with Vladimir Putin and the ongoing conflict.