Alisher Usmanov will not sell Arsenal stake to Stan Kroenke

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The Independent Online

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov insists he will not sell his stake in Arsenal after fellow shareholder Stan Kroenke triggered a mandatory buyout offer for the club.

American businessman Kroenke secured a 62.89% controlling share in the club earlier this week after agreeing to buy out major shareholders Danny Fiszman (16.1%) and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith (15.9%) for around £234million.

By passing the 30% threshold, Kroenke is obliged to make a cash offer for the remaining capital at £11,750 per share. The club's total value has been set at £731million.

Kroenke's main focus will now be on purchasing the £194million stake owned by Usmanov, who does not have a seat on the board but controls 27% of the club's holding company.

However, Usmanov today told Bloomberg: "I'm not going to sell my stake. I love Arsenal, that's why I'm a shareholder."

A spokesperson for the Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) welcomed Usmanov's decision.

A statement released to Press Association Sport read: "AST welcomes Red and White Holdings' commitment to Arsenal and calls on all shareholders to work together.

"Their priorities should firstly be making Arsenal a successful football team, secondly placing no leveraged debt on the club or taking dividends and management fees out of the club, and thirdly helping supporters be directly involved in the club's shareholding."

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