James Ratcliffe Net Worth (Updated 2024)

What is James Ratcliffe’s Net Worth?

Sir James Arthur Ratcliffe is a British billionaire businessman, industrialist, and founder of the chemical company INEOS. His estimated net worth stands at approximately $18.4 billion. 

Ratcliffe’s wealth primarily stems from his majority ownership of INEOS, a multinational chemicals company he founded in 1998. The company has grown significantly over the years through strategic acquisitions and expansion into various industries, including oil and gas, automotive, and sports. INEOS is now one of the world’s largest chemical producers, with annual revenues exceeding $65 billion.

Despite fluctuations in the global economy and commodity markets, Ratcliffe’s net worth has shown resilience and growth over time. In 2018, he was briefly considered the richest person in the UK, with an estimated fortune of £21.05 billion. While his ranking may have shifted since then, he consistently remains among the top billionaires in the country.

Ratcliffe also made significant investments in sports, including the purchase of French football club OGC Nice and Swiss club FC Lausanne-Sport. In addition, his company INEOS has sponsorship deals with high-profile sports teams, including the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team.

Here’s the breakdown of James Ratcliffe’s net worth:


James Ratcliffe

Net Worth:

£29.688 Billion

Date of Birth:

18 October 1952



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James Ratcliffe Net Worth

Early Life and Education

James Arthur Ratcliffe was born on October 18, 1952, in Failsworth, a town in Greater Manchester, England. He came from humble beginnings, living in a council house until the age of 10. His father worked as a joiner and later ran a factory that made laboratory furniture, while his mother was an accounts office worker.

At the age of 10, Ratcliffe’s family moved to East Yorkshire, where he attended Beverley Grammar School. His interest in science and engineering developed during his school years.

After completing his secondary education, Ratcliffe went on to study chemical engineering at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 1974. He later enhanced his business acumen by obtaining an MBA from London Business School in 1980.


After graduating, Ratcliffe started his professional career with oil giant Esso. Seeking to broaden his skills, he transitioned into finance and joined the private equity group Advent International in 1989.

The turning point in Ratcliffe’s career came in 1992 when he led a buyout of a chemicals business from BP, forming Inspec. This venture proved successful, and in 1998, Ratcliffe founded Ineos, the company that would become the cornerstone of his vast wealth.

Under Ratcliffe’s leadership, Ineos grew rapidly through a series of acquisitions, buying unwanted operations from major industry players like BP, ICI, and BASF. His business strategy often involved taking on significant debt to finance deals and then implementing immediate cost-saving measures to reduce that debt quickly.

Ratcliffe’s approach to business has been described as bold and sometimes controversial. He has been known for his tough negotiating style and willingness to take on unions in industrial disputes.

His success with Ineos has been the primary driver of his wealth, with the company achieving an estimated turnover of $15 billion in 2019.


In recent years, Ratcliffe has significantly expanded his interests in the world of sports, using his wealth to invest in various teams and events across different disciplines.

In football, Ratcliffe owns French Ligue 1 club OGC Nice, which he acquired in 2019, and Swiss Super League team FC Lausanne-Sport, purchased in 2017. His most high-profile move in football came in 2024 when he acquired a 25% stake in Manchester United, the club he has supported since childhood, for approximately £1.25 billion.

Beyond football, Ratcliffe’s sporting interests are diverse. In cycling, Ineos took over Team Sky in 2019, rebranding it as Team Ineos (now Ineos Grenadiers). The team has continued its success in major cycling events, including the Tour de France.

Ratcliffe has also invested in Formula 1, with Ineos taking a one-third stake in the Mercedes F1 team in 2020. In sailing, he backs the Ineos Britannia team, led by Olympic champion Ben Ainslie, which competes in the America’s Cup.

In addition, Ineos has supported other sporting endeavors, including Eliud Kipchoge’s successful sub-two-hour marathon attempt in 2019.

Honours and Awards

James Ratcliffe’s business acumen and contributions to industry have been recognized through various prestigious honours and awards:

  1. Knighthood: In 2018, Ratcliffe was appointed Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to business and investment. This honour reflects his significant impact on the UK’s business landscape and economy.
  2. Petrochemical Heritage Award: In 2013, Ratcliffe received this lifetime achievement award at the International Petrochemical Conference in San Antonio, Texas. This award recognized his outstanding contribution to the petrochemical industry and was particularly notable as he was the first Briton to receive it in its 17-year history.
  3. Sunday Times Business Person of the Year: Ratcliffe has been recognized with this prestigious award, highlighting his business acumen and leadership in the chemical industry.
  4. Chemical Industry Medal: This award further underscores Ratcliffe’s significant contributions to the chemical sector.
  5. Honorary Fellowship: In May 2009, Ratcliffe was granted an honorary fellowship by the Institution of Chemical Engineers, citing “his sustained leadership in building the INEOS Group”.

These accolades not only recognize Ratcliffe’s business achievements but also contribute to his public profile and potentially indirectly impact his net worth through increased business opportunities and partnerships.

Personal Life

Ratcliffe has been married twice and has three children. He has two sons from his first marriage to Amanda Townson, which lasted from 1985 to 1995. He also has a daughter from his second marriage to Maria Alessia Maresca, an Italian tax lawyer. Currently, Ratcliffe is reported to be in a relationship with Catherine Polli.

Known for his adventurous spirit, Ratcliffe enjoys physical challenges and outdoor activities. He has made expeditions to both the North and South Poles and completed a three-month motorbike trek in South Africa. In 2013, he demonstrated his endurance by completing the Marathon des Sables across the Sahara Desert.

Ratcliffe is also passionate about sports and fitness, having founded the charity “Go Run for Fun” to encourage children aged 5-10 to get physically active.

Real Estate

Ratcliffe owns multiple properties, including homes in London, Hampshire, and Monaco, as well as an estate on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. He also owns two luxury hotels: Le Portetta in Courchevel, France, and Lime Wood in Hampshire, England.

Ratcliffe is known for his love of yachting and owns a superyacht named Hampshire II, valued at approximately £120 million. Despite his immense wealth, Ratcliffe is often described as publicity-shy and prefers to keep a relatively low profile in his personal life.

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