Ineos manufactures petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and oil products. Chairman and owner Jim Ratcliffe started to build the group in 1998, snapping up subsidiaries from chemicals giants such as ICI and BASF. The group now comprises 15 businesses and has 60 manufacturing facilities in 13 countries. But the acquisition spree was fuelled by debt, which amounted to nearly £6 billion at the last count and it is now in the process of being refinanced. The company also moved its tax residency to Switzerland to save an estimated £400m over four years, and sold a 50% stake in its European refining business to PetroChina for $1 billion (£621m) in January. Sales reached £19.6 billion in 2010.

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Company details
ActivityChemicals manufacturer
Sales £m*19,570
Profit £m*1,404
Year endDec 10
Principal shareholdersJim Ratcliffe (75%), management and staff (25%)

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* Supplied by company † Annualised figure