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Meet Jim Ratcliffe: The British multi-billionare behind the archived INEOS 1:59 challenge

INEOS 1:59 challenge financer Jim Ratcliffe with Eliud Kipchoge

Sir James Arthur Ratcliffe the man bankrolling Eluid Kipchoges quest to set a new marathon record  is a British billionaire chemical engineer turned financier and industrialist.

Ratcliffe is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Ineos chemicals group, which he founded in 1998 and of which he still owns two-thirds, and which has been estimated to have a turnover of $80 billion.

Billionare Jim Ratcliffe

Ratcliffe recently attempted to purchase English Premier League club Chelsea but Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich reportedly refused to even make it to the negotiating table leaving the potential buyer to settle for French Ligue 1 club Nice for an estimated Sh1.4 billion. Chelsea had an asking price of Sh315 billion.

He is Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britains richest man, reportedly worth about Sh14 trillion (£10 billion), according to Forbes. INEOS alone has turn over of Sh5.6 trillion.

Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe

Here are quick facts about Jim,

1. He was born in England some 66 years ago to a middle-class family. He went on to graduate with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Birmingham in 1974.

2. He is the co-founder and co-owner of chemical powerhouse IENOS Group, the firm spearheading Kipchoges effort of running the 42-km race with a sub-two hours timing for the first time in athletics history. The company mainly produces and sells chemicals.

3. He boasts several other interests including an estimated Sh1.4 billion stake in French club Nice and also owns the world-famous cycling team Sky which has been renamed the Ineos team, and another football team in Switzerland.

4. His move to fund Kipchoges 1:59 bid enhances his quest to venture into sports business, as his firm Global Sports Communications unveiled the NN Running Team. Partnering with Kipchoge is also seen as a marketing tactic.

5. He can reportedly be mean. He was reported by the English media as having once requested his neighbours to contribute towards installation of internet and has in the past been accused of relocating to Monaco in France so as to avoid paying tax on earnings. Hes been nicknamed Dr No.

6. He owns a beach house in New Forest valued at Sh756 million.

7. Ratcliffe wedded Amanda Townson in 1985, before divorcing in 1995. They had two sons. He also has a daughter from his second wife, Alicia, whom he married in the late 1990s.

8. He owns a super-yacht called the Hampshire II that cost Sh16 billion (£130 million). It has a swimming pool, helipad and room for 14 guests.

Jim Ratcliffe with Eliud Kipchoge