Jim Ratcliffe, a reclusive British billionaire, has launched an unexpected last-minute bid to buy Chelsea FC, the soccer club being sold by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Ratcliffe, who is the CEO and founder of chemicals giant Ineos, made his bid on Friday morning, per a report in The Times of London.
“We put an offer in this morning,” Ratcliffe said, according to 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 Ratcliffe’s bid is worth roughly £4.25 billion ($5.33 billion), split between $2.2 billion of investment in the club in the coming ten years, and $3.14 billion of funding demanded by Abramovich. The Russian oligarch said he wanted to use the money from the sale of Chelsea to set up a foundation for victims of the war in Ukraine.
According to The Times, Ratcliffe believes he has the ability to complete the purchase as soon as this weekend.
The last-ditch bid puts him in competition with three other consortia: One led by British businessman Sir Martin Broughton, one led by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, and one from Stephen Pagliuca, who has a stake in the Boston Celtics.