Alisher Usmanov agrees to sell Arsenal shares to Stan Kroenke

Alisher Usmanov agrees to sell Arsenal shares to Stan Kroenke

Alisher Usmanov agrees to sell Arsenal shares to Stan Kroenke

Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League, has been a part-owner of Arsenal since 2007, gradually increasing his stake in the club. It said Arsenal shareholders under the offer will be entitled to receive 29,419.64 pounds for each share.

The club is owned by a holding company, Arsenal Holding plc where available shares are few and the company is not listed on an exchange.

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

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.

"I'm disappointed it's come to this, it was a strong way to connect to the club when you owned a piece of it", he said.

Not particularly, Kroenke is a far from popular figure at Arsenal.

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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.

Usmanov, despite being the second-largest shareholder, has not been given a seat on the club's board.

Kroenke, who is worth an estimated $8.3 billion according to Forbes, made money in real estate before becoming a sports mogul in the US.

Aquiring Usmanov's shares would move KSE past the 90% threshold whereby they could compulsorily be able to purchase the remaining 1,779 shares, which are valued at £52.3m. The offer values the club at £1.8bn.

KSE says it has received an "irrevocable undertaking" from Red and White Securities, Usmanov's company, to accept the offer as soon as possible and by 3pm on Tuesday at the latest.

To pay for the deal, Mr Kroenke will pay £45m in cash and take a £557m loan from Deutsche Bank.

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Arsène Wenger, who had managed the north London club for more the 20 years, departed earlier in 2018 and has been replaced by Unai Emery.

But even before today's news broke of KSE's bid, there had been doubts about the future of chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

His comments were echoed by the Arsenal Supporters' Trust, an independent group representing fans who fear their influence will be diminished.

The Arsenal Supporters' Trust, a fan group, said the news of Kroenke's offer "marks a awful day" for the club.

Kroenke said in a statement to the London stock exchange that he believed the club would benefit from being taken private.

It goes on to warn that Kroenke's ownership will allow him to implement several "detrimental" actions and also expresses the Trust's concern that the purchase is being funded by a loan.

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