Russian billionaire 'to sell' shares in Arsenal to Kroenke

Russian billionaire 'to sell' shares in Arsenal to Kroenke

Kroenke now owns 67% of the club's shares and his offer is to buy the 30% of shares owned by minority stakeholder Alisher Usmanov.

Kroenke now holds 41,743 Arsenal shares, approximately 67.09 per cent of the club.

The American billionaire's decision to make his latest offer comes from his belief that taking the club private with a single, long-term owner will benefit them with respect to moving quicker in accordance to their strategy and ambitions.

But though Kronke has said the takeover will help the men's senior team compete for titles, the Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) has described the announcement as "a awful day" for the north London side.

In October a year ago KSE offered around £525million to buy the 18,695 shares held by Usmanov.

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov said Tuesday he is selling his 30 percent stake in Arsenal to Stan Kroenke in a deal that values the club at Sh1.8 billion (£1.8 billion, $2.3 billion).

To do that he has a loan agreement with Deutsche Bank to lend him £557m, allowing him to fund the takeover.

Arsenal have not won the English Premier League since an unbeaten campaign in 2004.

"The most terrible part of this announcement is the news that Kroenke plans to forcibly purchase the shares held by Arsenal fans".

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"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".

"We appreciate Mr Usmanov's dedication to the Arsenal Football Club and the storied ethos and history the Club represents".

New manager Unai Emery, who joined from Paris St Germain, will be given a baptism of fire this weekend when Arsenal kick off their new season against Manchester City.

"Kroenke's actions will neuter their voice and involvement". However, the prospect of the North London club being owned by one man, particularly when that one man is Kroenke, is worrying for all associated with the Gunners.

Usmanov's Red & White Holdings acquired an interest in the club in 2007, including the shares previously held by Arsenal's former vice-chairman David Dein.

Kroenke's current share in the club is just over 67 per cent.

Even more concerning for Arsenal fans is the prospect of asset stripping, which Kroenke could now do as 100% owner of the club.

"The AST is wholly against this takeover".

Uzbekistan-born Usmanov, who made his fortune in the steel industry, has reportedly made previous unsuccessful bids to take control of the club.

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