Arsenal announced on Monday that it had accepted the offer to buy from American billionaire Stan Kroenke as part of a deal that would value the London club at 731 million pounds (825 million euros).
Kroenke, who already held 30% of the Gunners’ capital, said he had offered 11,750 pounds (12,450 euros) per share and that he had reached an agreement with two shareholders, Danny Fiszman, who owns 11% of the capital, and Nina Bracewell-Smith, 15.9% shareholder. Kroenke, owner of several sports clubs in the United States, now owns 63% of Arsenal’s shares. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to increase our commitment to Arsenal. They are a fantastic club with a special history and a wonderful manager, Arsène Wenger”Kroenke Sports Enterprises said in a statement, adding that Peter Hill-Wood remains club president. The other main shareholder of Arsenal is Russian steel magnate Alisher Usmanov with 27% of the club’s capital.
Mr Kroenke, who first bought 9.99% of Arsenal’s shares in April 2007, had already increased his stake in the club’s capital in March by buying seven additional shares for £ 8,500 per share (€ 9,600) . Aged 63, he owns the Colorado Rapids (football, Major League Soccer), the Denver Nuggets (basketball, NBA) and the Colorado Avalanche (ice hockey, NHL) in the United States.
Arsène Wenger reacted to this news: “I have worked with Stan Kroenke at board meetings for the past two years and believe the interests of the club are close to his heart,” he said. He understands our heritage and our tradition as well as our ambition to manage the club in a way that preserves its long-term future “. Arsenal become the fourth English Premier League club to fall into the hands of an American owner after the Glazer family at Manchester United, Randy Lerner who own Aston Villa and the duo Tom Hicks-George Gillett at the head of Liverpool.