hemicals giant Ineos has bought Belstaff, the British heritage fashion brand, in the latest off-centre move by its founder and chairman, billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, a month after he unveiled plans to start making cars.
On announcing its purchase of Belstaff, Ineos cited its "links to automotive". The label, which was established in 1924, is best known for its waxed motorcycle jackets, as worn by Steve McQueen in The Great Escape, but also made aviator jackets, famously for Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson.
The purchase of a fashion brand is not the first unconventional decision taken by the chemicals giant. Last month it revealed plans to set up an independent car company to make a successor to the Land Rover Defender, in a move which critics called a "vanity project". The Defender went out of production in 2016.