British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United has been approved by the Premier League. An update to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday evening revealed the Premier League’s decision to give the green light to Ratcliffe’s investment.
United are still awaiting Football Association approval for the deal, which Ratcliffe said could be completed by mid-February and will give him control of football operations at Old Trafford.
Confirming their approval, a Premier League statement on Tuesday said: “Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of 25 per cent of Manchester United FC, and further investment of $300 million in the club, has been approved by the Premier League Board, following the completion of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test.
“The Board agreed to the change of the club’s ownership structure last week, and this has now been officially ratified by an Independent Oversight Panel. The Premier League’s Owners’ Charter has also been signed.
“The Premier League now awaits confirmation of the transaction’s completion.”
It was reported on Tuesday that Ratcliffe’s investment was moving towards a resolution.
The period in which holders of Class A shares can tender them for sale has been extended from February 14 until 23:59pm on February 16.
So far 36.7 per cent of Class A shares have been tendered, already enough to complete the 25 per cent acquisition.
It was announced on Christmas Eve that INEOS chairman Ratcliffe had agreed to buy a 25 per cent stake in United from unpopular owners the Glazer family in a deal worth around £1.02 billion ($1.3 billion).
Ratcliffe will also invest a further £238 million in the club’s infrastructure.
The 71-year-old has conducted a series of meetings with club staff and associates in recent days as the investment nears completion.
Ratcliffe has met leaders of the independent Manchester United Supporters’ Trust and spoken with local leaders, including senior representatives of Trafford Council, and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.
The boyhood United fan was also among those in attendance at the Munich Air Disaster memorial last week.
Ratcliffe is reportedly already planning to lead an overhaul of United’s squad after a difficult season for a club that last won the Premier League in 2013.