Kroenke looking to increase Arsenal shareholding
Wed 3rd Nov 2010 | Clubs Ownership
Stan Kroenke, Arsenal Football Club’s majority shareholder is reportedly ready to step up his interest in the North London club. The American, who owns a 29.9% stake in the club, is understood to be on the verge of pushing his shareholding past the 30% threshold which would trigger a mandatory takeover bid.
He is likely to consider the purchase of Lady Bracewell-Smith’s 15.9% stake in the club after she put her shares on the market over six months ago. Lady Bracewell-Smith’s shares are understood to be valued at around £128m, and have been boosted by Arsenal posting outstanding financial figures for the year which included a fall in net debt of over £162m from £297m to £135m.
Blackstone, the financial services firm which has been charged with the sale of Lady Bracewell-Smith’s shares are understood to be in ‘serious’ talks with at least one interested party.
However, Kroenke has the backing of Danny Fiszman from whom he has purchased many of his shares and is more likely to purchase more to help push through the 30% threshold.
Kroenke’s move is sure to alert Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal’s second largest shareholder with a 26% stake in the club to the possible mandatory takeover bid should Kroenke successfully increase his stake. The two have been slowly increasing their shareholdings in the club as the seek to take full control of the club seen by many in the football world as the standard bearer of financial stability and best practice.
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