Hill-Wood gives Kroenke blessing as billionaire raises stake

The American billionaire Stan Kroenke was given further endorsement by Arsenal chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, yesterday when the latter sold him 100 of his 500 shares in the club, worth £850,000. Kroenke spent another £850,000 buying another 200 as well to take him within 0.09 per cent of having to bid for the entire stock.

Hill-Wood retains 400 shares, or around 0.64 per cent, for now. Takeover regulations forbid Kroenke, never the most loquacious of investors, from discussing his plans for Arsenal. That Hill-Wood has now sold his precious stock to Kroenke demonstrates that the Arsenal chairman regards the American as the best bet for the club's future.

While sources indicate that Kroenke has no immediate plans to take his holding to 29.99 per cent – and there would be no guarantee that other shareholders would sell – he is diligently sourcing shares wherever he can. He bought the shares from Hill-Wood two days after buying another £3.6m-worth from the estate of Ernest Harrison. His holding is now 29.9 per cent.

As reported in The Independent on Wednesday, Kroenke is understood to be waiting until May next year before he puts himself in a position where he would have to bid for the entirety of the club. Under takeover regulations, if he hit 29.99 per cent before then he would have to offer the highest price he has paid for a share in the last 12 months – £10,500 – for the remaining stock. It would be cheaper for him to wait until May.

It was the family of Hill-Wood who historically held the controlling stake but Peter sold the majority of his shares in the club to former director David Dein, just before the launch of the Premier League in 1992 and the explosion in value of English football clubs. While Dein has made much more money out of the original stake – selling his shares for around £80m to Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov two years ago – Hill-Wood has retained his place on the Arsenal board.

Arsène Wenger said yesterday that he believed Fran Merida could be persuaded to stay at the club even though the Spanish Under-20 international is now going into the last year of his contract. "He's in the squad, as long as he is committed to the future. We make room for players we have on longer term, as long as they commit we plan to make room for them.

"It's massive for us to keep him because I believe he is an outstanding player. He is a technical player and he knows where to stand on the pitch and you cannot leave that to people. The quality of the passes he received [benefits him]. He is a man on the football pitch, despite his size."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Arts and Entertainment
World Book Day
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Life and Style
love + sex
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot