SBD/Issue 85/Sports Industrialists

Arsenal Takeover Would Add To Stan Kroenke's Strong Portfolio

Kroenke Only 17 Shares Short Of Triggering
Mandatory Bid For Arsenal
Kroenke Sports Enterprises Owner Stan Kroenke has "built a portfolio that makes him one of the most powerful people in sports," but his next move "will firmly establish him ... as a major attraction on the sports world's map," according to a profile by Jere Longman of the N.Y. TIMES. Kroenke is "on the verge of taking control" of EPL club Arsenal. He owns 29.9% of the club and is "17 shares short" of reaching 30%, a threshold at which he would have to make a bid for the entire team. Some Arsenal fans "worry a new owner will saddle the club with debt and curb the signing of players," but sports finance experts said that that "has not been Mr. Kroenke's style." MLS Commissioner DON GARBER said that Kroenke's "interest in soccer was apparently piqued by another billionaire entrepreneur, PHIL ANSCHUTZ, from whom he bought" the MLS Rapids in '03. Longman notes Kroenke's business model with the Rapids, Nuggets and Avalanche "has been to own not just teams, but also the building in which they play, the regional sports network (Altitude) that broadcasts their games and the ticket distribution system (TicketHorse)." Meanwhile, Kroenke's personality is "most often described for what it is not -- flamboyant." NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN said that Kroenke is "inquisitive and analytical, 'as knowledgeable a person as there is' about basketball, an owner 'willing to do old things in a new way,' but ultimately a man without anecdotes." Stern said that Kroenke "remains so self-controlled" that he has "never once called the NBA offices to complain about officiating." Longman noted neither Kroenke "nor his associates were made available" for the article (N.Y. TIMES, 1/15).

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