INEOS at No 1 for sales and profits
It wasn’t very long ago that most of us heard about INEOS for the first time when Sir Ben Ainslie decided to ditch the set up that had seen the foundation of a British team to compete in the America’s Cup – Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR).
The team was also known as J.P. Morgan BAR in this early period with Sir Ben starting the process of raising £100M to fund the team. The project was initially backed by 12 core supporters including Sir Charles Dunstone and Sir Keith Mills. In December 2014 Ben Ainslie Racing and Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT) announced that they would work together on the America’s Cup project, with Formula One designer Adrian Newey leading RBAT’s efforts regarding design and engineering.
In preparation for the 2017 America’s Cup, the team launched a series of test boats that were primarily used for training and technology development. The development program culminated in the construction of a final AC50 race boat that the team raced in Bermuda during the AC35 in 2017.
In the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, the British Challenger will be competing as INEOS TEAM UK. This is after the oil and chemicals giant INEOS launched a surprise (to most of us) British team in April 2018.
Sir Ben had forged a plan with INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe to compete for the America’s Cup and is committed to spending £110 million. INEOS, one of UK’s and the world’s largest petrochemicals and manufacturing companies, had launched the biggest ever British America’s Cup investment.
Jim Ratcliffe, the founder and chairman of INEOS, adds: “With the resources of INEOS, the skill of Sir Ben Ainslie and his team and the experience of the Royal Yacht Squadron, I think INEOS TEAM UK has a great chance of success in 2021 and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
INEOS is worth £26,862m. The company has been investing heavily in the past two years, acquiring BP’s Forties pipeline for $250m last April and Dong Energy’s oil and gas business for $1.05bn last May.
Perhaps the profits of £4.9bn last year gave Sir Ben a warm feeling that he and his AC challenge won’t run out of money for a while…