Arsenal’s American billionaire majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, is reported to have offered Alisher Usmanov a fresh bid of NGN280bn (£600m) for full ownership of the club.
The Sports magnate had a previous NGN249.5Bn (£525m) offer for the Uzbek-born Russian tycoon’s 30% ownership of Arsenal, turned down.
Usmanov has always desired to own the club fully but his offer of NGN457Bn (£1bn) for Kroenke’s 67% in May, was also declined by the American.
Despite the 30% shares, Usmanov is left frustrated out of key management and board decisions at Arsenal.
Tuesday reports in Britain have it that Usmanov has finally agreed to sell with statements from Kroenke’s company, KSE, confirming the announcement to the London Stock Exhange.
Usmanov confirmed he has agreed to part with his 30% stake in the club.
“I have decided to sell my shares in Arsenal, which could be the best football club in the world,” Usmanov said.
A done deal will put an end to the ownership tussle at the Emirate Stadium.
KSE says it is “moving forward with this offer, leading to 100% ownership of the club” and they “appreciate Mr Usmanov’s dedication” to Arsenal.
The statement reads: “KSE’s ambitions for the club are to see it competing consistently to win the Premier League and the Champions League, as well as the major trophies in the women’s senior game and at youth level.”
Adding that: “its stewardship since 2011 the club has invested in major transfers, player contracts, analytics, senior non-playing football management employees” and it “expects the club to build on those investments”.
The statement confirms that the money for the buy-out will be sourced from borrowing – £557m – and the rest from Kroenke’s own money. This lending will in no way affect the club.
“The offer is not being funded by way of any debt finance (bank loans, payment in kind loans or other debt or quasi debt interest bearing obligations) for which the payment of interest on, repayment of, or security for any liability (contingent or otherwise) will depend on the business of Arsenal.”
While Kroenke says taking sole ownership will benefit the club, the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) called the news “a dreadful day” for the Gunners.
Kroenke’s single take-over will increase Arsenal’s value to £1.8bn