Stan Kroenke makes £1.8bn Arsenal takeover bid after securing support of shareholder Alisher Usmanov

American billionaire has agreed a deal to buy out the Russian billionaire, who owns 30% of the Premier League club and failed with a takeover bid last May

Jack de Menezes@JackdeMenezes
Tuesday 07 August 2018 08:27
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Arsenal 2018/19 Premier League profile

Stan Kroenke has launched a £1.8bn takeover bid to assume full control of Arsenal after securing the backing of minority shareholder Alisher Usmanov.

American billionaire Kroenke is already the majority shareholder of the Premier League club after purchasing 67.09 per cent of Arsenal Holdings PLC through KSE UK since 2007, having launched an initial takeover in April 2011.

A statement from Kroenke on Tuesday morning announced that he had made a bid to seize full control of Arsenal Football Club that valued it at $2.33bn [£1.8bn], and added that he has “an irrevocable undertaking” from fellow shareholder Usmanov to sell his stake in the club.

Uzbek-born Russian billionaire Usmanov has long been rumoured to be considering a takeover attempt of his own, but it appears that he has agreed to sell Kroenke his 30 per cent share in the club.

"We at KSE are moving forward with this offer leading to 100 per cent ownership of the club,” the statement read. “We appreciate Mr Usmanov's dedication to the Arsenal Football Club and the storied ethos and history the club represents."

Usmanov will receive £550m for selling his stake based on a share price of £29,419.64, having seen a £1bn takeover offer rejected by Kroenke in May last year.

Kroenke's bid values Arsenal at £1.8bn 

Kroenke has also previously tried to buy-out Usmanov’s share of the club, with a £525m offer to buy the 18,695 shares owned by his Red and White Securities Limited company rejected in October last year. But despite being the club’s second-largest shareholder, Usmanov has been denied a place on the club’s board.

Kroenke wants to take Arsenal into private ownership, and it would add to his current repertoire of sports clubs that includes the Los Angeles Rams NFL team and the Denver Nuggets NBA franchise.

"KSE believes moving to private ownership will bring the benefits of a single owner better able to move quickly in furtherance of the club's strategy and ambitions,” the statement added. “KSE is a committed, long-term owner of the club."

Usmanov has agreed to sell his 30 per cent stake in the club

The move could unsettle the feeling among supporters at the Emirates Stadium, following years of protests against Kroenke’s ownership and running of the club. Following Arsene Wenger’s departure last season – which despite his claim that he was stepping down after 22 years was essentially a sacking – Kroenke reiterated his commitment to the club, and appointed former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla boss Unai Emery as Wenger’s replacement.

Arsenal host reigning Premier League champions Manchester City this weekend in their opening match of the season.

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