NICE, France (AP) — A company led by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has completed a takeover of French league club Nice.

Chemicals giant Ineos and the French club both confirmed the deal on Monday, making Nice the latest sports acquisition by the London-based company.

Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man who is the Ineos chairman, said: “We are absolutely delighted about acquiring OGC Nice. It has been quite a long journey getting here, but it is unique, and we were determined to complete the purchase of the club.”

Nice, which is coached by former France international Patrick Vieira, has won both its opening matches of the French league season after finishing seventh last year.

Ineos bought Swiss club Lausanne in 2017 and also sponsors a cycling team that bears its name, which includes this year’s Tour de France winner Egan Bernal.

Ratcliffe said the company looked at “a lot of clubs” before deciding to buy Nice, and that it is determined to establish it “as a team that competes in European club competition on a regular basis.”

He added: “We made some mistakes at Lausanne but we are fast learners, these have been rectified and we are already seeing the benefits. Clubs need to be successful off the pitch, as well as on it, and Nice will be no different, as we look to take the club from strength to strength in all aspects over the coming years.”


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