Billionaire Ratcliffe buys OGC Nice

Monaco-based billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has brought French Ligue 1 club Nice, vowing to establish the club as regular challengers in Ligue 1 and Europe.

Ratcliffe purchased Nice through his chemical company Ineos and was given the all-clear to seal the deal with Nice’s Sino-American owners by the French Competition Authority last week.

The 66-year-old will add his latest purchase to a sports portfolio that already includes the former Sky cycling team and Swiss club Lausanne-Sport.

“We made some mistakes at Lausanne, but we are fast learners, these have been rectified and we are already seeing the benefits,” Ratcliffe said.

The Monaco resident, who is Britain’s third richest man worth over 18 billion pounds, had reportedly made a €100m offer for the club earlier this year. He was also interested in buying Manchester United and was linked with a £2 billion bid for Chelsea earlier this year.

“It has been quite a long journey getting here,” added Ratcliffe. “We have looked at a lot of clubs in the manner we look at businesses in Ineos – for value and potential – and Nice fulfils that criteria.”

Nice, managed by former Arsenal and France midfielder Patrick Vieira, will be part of the ‘Ineos Football’ group.