Jim Ratcliffe led a management buyout of part of Inspec’s chemicals division to create Ineos Group in 1998. Through acquisitions it has grown into Britain’s fourth-biggest chemicals company, making phenols, oxides, silicates and fluorine products, and claims to be the world’s largest producer of air-conditioning fluids. Ineos now has more than 60 manufacturing facilities in 16 countries and sales rose £700m to £2,409m in 2004, mainly due to organic growth. Profits have also risen strongly in recent years to £191m. Ineos Group has two sister companies, Ineos Chlor (No 87 in the table), which has sales of £386m, and Ineos Vinyls Group, which owns a 92.8% stake in EVC, an Amsterdam-quoted company with sales of a further £867m.
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