United States sports mogul makes offer to buy Arsenal

Heather Diaz
August 7, 2018

Mr Kroenke, through his wholly-owned Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, now holds a 67% stake in the London club.

KSE had made an offer of around £525million to buy the 18,695 shares held by Usmanov's Red and White Securities Limited in October, but saw that bid rejected.

The main Arsenal fan group said Kroenke mounting full control "marks a awful day" for the club, which is preparing for its first season with Unai Emery as coach after Arsene Wenger's 22-year reign ended.

The news was announced in a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, with the value of each Arsenal share set at £29,420 ($51,360).

"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", Kroenke's company said.

"KSE, a DE corporation wholly-owned by Mr E. Stanley Korenke, now holds 41,743 Arsenal Shares, representing approximately 67.09 per cent of the existing issued share capital of Arsenal".

The purchase of Usmanov's stake would give Kroenke 97 per cent ownership and would lead to the compulsory purchase of the remaining shares, some of which are owned by Arsenal fans.

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"This news marks a terrible day for Arsenal Football Club", declared an AST statement.

Not everyone associated with the club shares the same optimism as Kroenke though.

"The AST is extremely concerned to note that this purchase is being funded by a loan". The AST previous year urged Usmanov not to sell his shares, and pointed out that single ownership of the club means Arsenal would no longer need to hold an Annual General Meeting.

Despite being the club's second-largest individual shareholder, Mr Usmanov had grown frustrated at not been given a seat on the board and has made several attempts at buying out Mr Kroenke's majority stake. It is in effect legalised theft to remove shareholder scrutiny on how Arsenal is managed. Those partially public forums are now likely to end as Arsenal prepares to become entirely privately owned like most of the rest of the Premier League.

"Kroenke's actions will neuter their voice and involvement".

Arsenal get their Premier League campaign underway against Manchester City on Sunday, in Unai Emery's first competitive fixture at the club.

'The AST is wholly against this takeover.

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