James Ratcliffe

Rank 106

James Ratcliffe




United Kingdom

  • An adventure seeker, Ratcliffe has made trips to both the North and South poles and went on a month-long motorbike trip in South Africa in 2015.
  • Ineos also owns Swiss soccer team Lausanne, British fashion brand Belstaff and is building a successor to Land Rover's discontinued off-roader Defender.
  • Former chemical engineer James Ratcliffe is the founder, chairman and majority owner of chemical powerhouse Ineos Group.
  • The London-based conglomerate produces everything from synthetic oils and plastics to solvents used to make insulin and antibiotics.
  • It's become one of the U.K. shale sector's largest players. Its 600 foot "Dragon Ships" were the first to transport U.S. shale gas into Europe.
  • Ratcliffe mortgaged his house in 1992 to lead the buyout of a BP chemicals business; 6 years later, he bought a plant from that firm to form Ineos.
  • Ineos acquired two chemicals businesses from BP in 2021 for $5 billion. It formed petrochemical JVs with Sinopec worth more than $7 billion in 2022.
  • In 2023, Ineos acquired $1.4 billion of U.S. onshore oil and gas assets from Chesapeake Energy.