Ineos is a privately owned UK chemicals company. It is the third-largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF and Dow Chemical) and the biggest privately owned company in the United Kingdom. Its headquarters is located in the village of Lyndhurst in Hampshire, England. Chairman and main shareholder Jim Ratcliffe was tenth on the Sunday Times Rich List 2007, with an estimated wealth of £3.3 billion. Sunday Times Rich List 2008 revalued Jim Ratcliffe to £2.3 billion.
Ineos reportedly prefers to run operations with minimal on-site management, the concept that "work teams" are better suited for handling of the workflow day to day, without middle-management.
Ineos was formed in 1997 to effect a management buyout of the former BP petrochemicals assets in Antwerp, Belgium. Since then, it has expanded by purchasing several other businesses. Several of its divisions formerly belonged to BP, and others have been divested by large companies such as Amoco, BASF, ICI, Dow Chemical, Solvay and UCB, as they have looked to focus more closely on their main product lines. In October 2005 Ineos agreed to purchase Innovene, BP’s olefins and derivatives and refining subsidiary, which had an estimated 2005 turnover of US$25 billion, for $9 billion. The deal, which was completed on 14 December 2005, roughly quadrupled Ineos's turnover, which was previously around $8 billion.
In 2007 Ineos formed a joined venture with Lanxess and created Ineos ABS, comprising Lanxess's activities in Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene production, located in Tarragona. Ineos paid €35 million in a first tranche.