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Volume 6 No. 212

Franchises

Arsenal major shareholder Alisher Usmanov "expressed an interest" in acquiring Belgian First Division A side Anderlecht but "will be up against" Belgian entrepreneurs Paul Gheysens and Wouter Vandenhaute in any bid to take control of the club, according to Samindra Kunti of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. The current takeover price is €80M ($94M) for 75% of the club’s shares. The Uzbek-born billionaire owns 30% of Arsenal’s shares, but has been "alienated from wielding much influence" in North London by the current Stan Kroenke-led board. A spokesperson for Usmanov’s company, USM Holdings, did not "rule out an investment in the Belgian club when addressing the reports on Saturday." Anderlecht has "held talks" with a number of interested parties, including Gheysens and Vandenhaute, who approached the Brussels-based club before Usmanov "entered the fray" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 11/20).

Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer said of his investment in Atlético Madrid, "I didn't grow up in football but I see it as a business with great potential," according to MARCA. Ofer added, "Atlético is a special club. Nobody can compare with Madrid and Barcelona because they belong to their fans, so Atlético is the best that you can find with private ownership" (MARCA, 11/20). In Madrid, Ainhoa Sánchez reported Atlético scheduled a shareholders meeting for Dec. 18-19, when it will approve of a €5.65M ($6.64M) capital increase "and the corresponding investment from Ofer's Quantum Pacific conglomerate" (MARCA, 11/20).