April 26, 2018 / 10:03 AM / 3 months ago

Sailing-Ainslie's America's Cup bid gets $153 mln INEOS backing

* UK firm forms INEOS Team GB to compete for America’s Cup

* INEOS teams up with Ainslie in quest to win “Auld Mug”

* Commits to spend 110 million pounds to fund 2021 campaign

By Alexander Smith

LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - Ben Ainslie has secured 110 million pounds ($153 million) from British petrochemicals company INEOS to fund Britain’s latest bid to win the America’s Cup.

INEOS said it had formed INEOS Team GB with Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor, to compete for the “Auld Mug” and was committed to making the biggest ever America’s Cup investment by a British challenger.

“We have a first-class team and will do everything we can to bring this trophy back to Britain where it belongs,” Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire founder and chairman of INEOS, said in a statement on Thursday. ($1 = 0.7176 pounds)

Reporting by Alexander Smith Editing by Toby Davis

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