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SBD Global/October 5, 2017/Finance

Arsenal Shareholder Usmanov Not Selling His 30% Stake In Team To Owner Kroenke

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov "released a statement saying he is not about to sell his shares" to majority shareholder Stan Kroenke after he "made a bid to take full control of the club," according to Jack Austin of the London INDEPENDENT. Reports suggested Kroenke Sports Enterprise UK was "set to offer" almost £525M ($695.1M) to "buy the 18,695 shares held by Usmanov's Red and White Securities Limited." Usmanov has previously made a formal £1B ($1.32B) "bid to buy Arsenal, which led to a statement" from KSE UK in May "re-affirming their position that the 'shares are not, and never have been, for sale.'" But Usmanov has "resisted Kroenke’s own interest" and released a statement expressing his "intention to keep hold" of his 30% share and saying that he is not in talks with Kroenke. Usmanov in his statement said, "In recent days there has been speculation relating to a possible offer for my 30% stake in Arsenal. As part of that I can understand the anxiety that these rumours are causing to the fans as reflected by the Arsenal Supporters Trust." He added, "In light of this, I would like to be clear that I am not holding any talks with Mr. Kroenke about a sale" (INDEPENDENT, 10/4). In London, Jeremy Wilson reported Usmanov stressed that an offer for Kroenke's stake that values Arsenal at £2B ($2.64B) "still stands" and also that he would be "willing to work constructively" with Kroenke or a new investor. Usmanov said, "I will continue to be an ardent support of Arsenal and I see my 30 percent stake as an important aspect in protecting the best interests of the fans in the club. It has been well documented that I have no say in the running of the club, that my views differ from those of the majority shareholder and that I would take a different approach to delivering footballing success" (TELEGRAPH, 10/4). Also in London, Andy Warren reported Usmanov did "concede he would consider selling his stake if a party sharing his vision for the club came forward" (DAILY MAIL, 10/4).
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