Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

U.S. sports mogul Kroenke makes offer to buy Arsenal

U.S. sports mogul Kroenke makes offer to buy Arsenal

American billionaire Kroenke owns 67% of Arsenal through his company KSE and announced on Tuesday he had made an offer to buy up the rest of the shares.

"Stan Kroenke taking the club private will see the end of supporters owning shares in Arsenal and their role upholding custodianship values", said an AST statement.

Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams American football team, has been a part-owner of Arsenal since 2007, gradually increasing his stake in the club since.

He was officially revealed to own the largest stake in the club in February 2008 with 24 percent, but at the time insisted he had no plans to increase his holdings and by 2011 Kroenke owned nearly two thirds of the Gunners.

The Arsenal Supports Trust are concerned that taking the club private will "neuter [fans'] voice and involvement".

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The agreement with Usmanov takes Kroenke beyond the 90 percent threshold that allows him to mount a mandatory bid for the remaining shares to gain 100 percent of the London club.

Deutsche Bank is advising KSE on the takeover deal.

Kroenke dismissed concerns of fans who last saw the team win the Premier League in 2004 and finish sixth last season to miss out on the Champions League.

"Kroenke plans to forcibly purchase the shares held by Arsenal fans".

"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".

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Stan Kroenke has had a bid accepted by Alisher Usmanov to become the sole owner of Arsenal Football Club (via The Telegraph). Kroenke and Usmanov have since been locked in stalemate.

However, fan groups such as the Arsenal Supporters Trust are anxious that the club would no longer need to hold an annual general meeting and that there could be less oversight of finances.

The summer saw the arrival of new manager Unai Emery, bringing an end to the 22-year tenure of Arsene Wenger.

AST added that by becoming the 100% owner, Kroenke would be able to take "detrimental actions" such as paying "management fees and dividends without any check or balance".

"We appreciate Mr Usmanov's dedication to the Arsenal Football Club and the storied ethos and history the Club represents". "KSE is a committed, long-term owner of the Club". "The AST is wholly against this takeover which marks a very sad day for Arsenal Football Club".

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