Kroenke set to buyout Usmanov in £1.8 billion Arsenal deal

Ross Houston
August 7, 2018

After a 10-year battle, Stan Kroenke is finally set to get full control of Arsenal.

American billionaire Stan Kroenke has struck a deal to take full control of Arsenal by buying out Russian rival Alisher Usmanov, valuing the English Premier League club at around $2.3 billion (1.8 billion pounds) but enraging some fans of the north London team.

"I think it's very sad that we're in danger of losing any transparency into how our club is run", he said.

The U.S. -based Kroenke Sports and Entertainment owns 67 percent of the club and has offered to purchase the 30 percent held by Alisher Usmanov's Red and White Securities firm.

Stan Kroenke
Arsenal shareholders Stan Kroenke currently holds 41,743 Arsenal Shares

A statement read: "Stan Kroenke taking the club private will see the end of supporters owning shares in Arsenal and their role upholding custodianship values".

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Although a KSE statement explains that taking the club private will help to further Arsenal's "strategy and ambitions", news of the buyout has not been well received by Arsenal Supporters' Trust.

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

Despite his shareholding, Usmanov is not part of the board or the decision-making at Arsenal. The BBC reports that buying Usmanov's shares would take KSE "past the 90% threshold" and can "compulsorily be able to purchase the remaining 1,779 shares, which are valued at £52.3m".

What has led to Arsenal being owned exclusively by Stan Kroenke?

Arsenal last won the Premier League title in 2004.

The American, who made a $2 billion bid to buy the club a year ago, will raise the capital with $58 million (£45m) of his own money and $721 million (£557m) in loans which, he says, will not be against the club.

Apart from Arsenal, Kroenke's "family portfolio" of assets also include NFL side Los Angeles Rams, the NBA's Denver Nuggets, the NHL outfit Colorado Avalanche, MLS side Colorado Rapids and Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League.

Deutsche Bank is advising KSE on the takeover deal. KSE owns 41,743 shares (67%) and has offered £550m to buy Usmanov's 18,695 shares (30%).

"Many of these fans. hold their shares not for value but as custodians who care for the future of the club".

Wright's comments came after the Arsenal Supporters" Trust issued a statement in which it too stated its concern over the takeover and accused Kroenke of "legalised theft' of shares from supporters who would be forced to sell their shares.

Other reports by iNewsToday