British billionaire chemical engineer turned financier and industrialist, Jim Ratcliffe is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Ineos chemicals group. Founded in 1998, Ratcliffe still owns two-thirds, which has been estimated to have a turnover of $44bn.
Born in Failsworth, Lancashire, the son of a father who was a joiner and a mother who was an accounts office worker, Ratcliffe lived there in a council house until the age of ten.
Ratcliffe was a co-founder of INSPEC, which leased the former BP Chemicals site in Antwerp, Belgium. In 1998 Ratcliffe formed Ineos in Hampshire to buy-out INSPEC and the freehold of the Antwerp site.
From this small base, using high-yield debt to finance deals, Ratcliffe started buying unwanted operations from groups such as ICI and BP, selecting targets based on their potential to double their earnings over a 5-year period.
Over the following years Ratcliffe continued to grow and further develop his business and financial skills resulting in him being named the richest man in the UK On 13 May 2018, with a net worth of £21.05 billion.
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