Billionaire American property developer and sports team owner, Stan Kroenke yesterday agreed to make an offer for Arsenal Football Club at a price of approximately £731m pounds ($1.2b) or £11,750 pounds per outstanding share. Kroenke has been steadily acquiring shares for the past year and a half at an average price of about £8,500 pounds per share. Bloomberg News reports that he breached the ownership limit at which he had to make an offer for the club,
Kroenke pledged to buy 16 percent stakes held by Danny Fiszman and Nina Bracewell-Smith, as well as a small amount of stock owned by theclub’s remaining directors,
Meanwhile there is no news from Alisher Usmanov who had been acquiring a stake, up to 27% at last report, in the London club at the same time as Kroenke. As far as how the takeover will be financed it is reported that it will be paid in full without adding to the debt burden of the club.
Kroenke is planning to buy the shares with cash and no debt will be added to the team, according to his offer.
The disclosure is likely to be welcomed by the Premier League and the team’s fans after leveraged takeovers by U.S. investors at Manchester United and Liverpool stoked supporter unrest. Arsenal becomes the 10th foreign-controlled team in England’s top division.
“Arsenal is too important to be owned by any one person,” the group said on its website. “The AST wants to work with Stan Kroenke to keep Arsenal supporters involved in the club’s ownership structure.”