Since leading an £82m management buyout of part of Inspec’s chemicals division in 1992, chairman Jim Ratcliffe has quietly built a global chemicals giant through a series of acquisitions from companies including ICI and Degussa. In December 2005, the business pulled off a coup when it completed the acquisition of Innovene, BP’s chemicals business, for £5 billion – a deal that catapulted Ineos into the leading ranks of the chemicals industry. Sales rose from £2,409m in 2004 to £3,400m in 2005. Hampshire-based Ineos has two sister companies – Ineos Chlor (No. 84 in the table) and Ineos Vinyls Group.
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