Kroenke 'close to Arsenal takeover'
Published 11/04/2011 | 10:53
Stan Kroenke is understood to be close to taking over Arsenal Football Club.
The Arsenal Supporters' Trust have given a cautiously optimistic welcome to the news that the American billionaire is set to take a majority stake in the club.
He is already the largest shareholder in the club, having compiled more than 29pc of all shares, and it is understood he is close to agreeing to buy the stakes held by Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, who each own 16pc.
An announcement is expected as early as today and if he does acquire the additional holding, taking him over the 30pc mark, Kroenke will be obliged to offer the market rate for the remaining shares - or around £11,500 per share.
Russian investor Alisher Usmanov, whose Red and White Holdings owns more than 27pc of Arsenal's shares, has also been linked with taking a controlling interest in the past but could now opt to relinquish his shares to Kroenke.
The AST have good relations with Kroenke, who has also invested heavily in a variety of North American sporting franchises, but are eager for fans to retain a voice in any new ownership structure.
A statement given to the Press Association last night said: "AST thinks it is really important that supporters remain involved in Arsenal's ownership structure.
"Stan Kroenke has a good relationship with the AST and recently supported our fanshare scheme.
"We are hopeful of having discussions with him to discuss how our members and Arsenal supporters can keep their shares in Arsenal Football Club."