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Confirmed: Ineos completes purchase of Team Sky

Team will change name before Tour de Yorkshire in May

Joe Robinson
19 Mar 2019

Team Sky have confirmed their sale to major British chemical company Ineos with the team set to become known as Team Ineos as of 1st May. 

It was no secret that Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe was in advanced talks over the purchase of the WorldTour team, although it comes as some surprise that Sky will leave its post as main sponsor before the end of the season.

In a statement released by the team today, it said 'Sky and 21st Century Fox have agreed the sale of Team Sky to Ineos. Ineos will become the sole owners of Tour Racing Limited (the team’s holding company) from 1 May this year and will continue to fund the current team in full, honouring all existing commitments to riders, staff and partners,'

'The launch of Team Ineos will take place at the Tour de Yorkshire which starts in Doncaster on 2 May.'

Ratcliffe will now become the owner of the team as major broadcasting company Sky steps down after a decade in the sport.

The Manchester-born billionaire is currently Britain's richest person with an estimated personal wealth of £21 billion. The 66-year-old recently came under fire for relocating to Monaco in order to avoid a personal £4 million tax bill. 

It's not the first time he has become involved in professional sport, having previously paid £110 million towards Sir Ben Ainslie's next bid for the America's Cup and having also allegedly tried to buy Chelsea Football Club from Romain Abramovich in 2018.

In a statement released today, Ratcliffe details his reasons for deciding to invest in the team.

'Cycling is a great endurance and tactical sport that is gaining ever more popularity around the world. Equally, cycling continues to mushroom for the general public as it is seen to be good for fitness and health, together with easing congestion and pollution in city environments,' said Ratcliffe.

'Ineos is delighted to take on the responsibility of running such a professional team.'

Ineos is one of the world's largest manufacturers of chemicals and oil products with a reported annual sales revenue of $90 billion.

It is expected that Ineos will match the team's £34 million annual budget with some reports suggesting there could even be an increase. Either way, it has safeguarded the lucrative contracts of riders such as Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal.

Team manager Dave Brailsford will now be afforded a sigh of relief knowing the future of his team is secure. Since Sky's announcement at the tail end of last year, Brailsford has been looking for a replacement sponsor to keep the team operational.

With Ineos, not only has Brailsford found a sponsor willing to match the costs of his team but also a sponsor based in Britain.

'Today’s announcement is great news for the team, for cycling fans, and for the sport more widely. It ends the uncertainty around the team and the speed with which it has happened represents a huge vote of confidence in our future,' said Brailsford.

'In Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos, I know that we have found the right partner whose vision, passion and pioneering spirit can lead us to even greater success on and off the bike. It heralds the start of a hugely exciting new chapter for us all as Team Ineos.'

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