Ineos ‘in £700m bid to buy Mercedes’ with chemicals giant and Sir Jim Ratcliffe set to take 70 per cent share in Formula One team

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes Formula One team is close to signing a £700 million deal that will see it sold to chemicals giant Ineos and Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, it was claimed on Saturday night. The company, which also own French football club Nice and are funding Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup yachting challenge, have agreed to buy a 70 per cent share in the German team, according to former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan and another source close to the deal. The company, run by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, have agreed to take up a 70 per cent share in the team. Mercedes have consistently denied rumours that they are planning to sell a controlling interest in the team and their stance did not change on Saturday. They still insist the team will continue to be called Mercedes next season and the season afterwards. The team will be called Ineos but it will still be run from the factory in Brackley and Mercedes will retain a 30 per cent share in it. It will not be known as Mercedes any more and Toto Wolff, the team principal, will no longer be in charge. Mercedes have denied rumours that they are planning to sell a controlling interest in the team.

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