Rams raid shows Kroenke is in no rush to rule Emirates

Trying to second-guess what Stan Kroenke does next is never easy because "Silent Stanley" is aptly nicknamed, but his decision in the early hours of yesterday to make a full takeover bid for the St Louis Rams NFL team suggests he is no hurry to launch a similar buyout at Arsenal.

When it emerged on Monday that one of Arsenal's major shareholders, Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, was looking to sell her 15.9 per cent stake (worth roughly £100m), it was widely, erroneously assumed that a takeover battle would follow.

Kroenke, with 29.9 per cent of Arsenal, is the club's largest shareholder, ahead of the Uzbek billionaire, Alisher Usmanov, with 26 per cent. If either bought Bracewell-Smith's shares, their holdings would soar above the 30 per cent "trigger" and force a mandatory offer for the rest of the shares.

The fact that neither had already bought the shares – known to be on sale by Arsenal insiders for some time – implies they either don't want them [Usmanov], or don't want them yet, at least at Bracewell-Smith's asking price of around £10,000 per share [Kroenke].

Why? Because with boardroom alliances, Kroenke can probably gain a majority of shares at a time of his choosing, and without Bracewell-Smith's shares. Usmanov can't get easily get past 50 per cent (and crucial control), even with Bracewell-Smith.

The thickener in this plot is that Kroenke had until midnight, US time, on Monday, to decide whether to exercise his option on buying the 60 per cent share of the Rams that he doesn't already own. Many observers thought he would sell his own 40 per cent stake, and launch an Arsenal bid with the proceeds.

Those who have followed his career more closely – and know that over several decades he's never sold a single share in any sports franchise after investing – thought he would stick at 40 per cent. Few thought he'd take up the 60 per cent option.

The owner of that 60 per cent stake is Chip Rosenbloom, who inherited it from his mother in 2008. He had already agreed a provisional sale to an Illinois tycoon, Shahid Khan, for a sum believed to be $450m (about £300m). But Kroenke also had the option to buy that 60 per cent, or sell his 40 per cent, or just keep his 40 per cent.

One complicating factor is that Kroenke's bid for 100 per cent of the Rams will test NFL rules that prevent majority ownership in an NFL franchise if they own another major league team in a different market. Kroenke owns NBA, NHL and MLS teams so must either challenge the NFL rules, downgrade other interests, or strike a compromise deal.

At Arsenal, Bracewell-Smith's placing of her shares on the market distracts from the core fact that Kroenke has been in the box seat for a long time, and remains there. He will likely go past 50 per cent one day, but is in no rush.

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice