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Stan Kroenke Nears Arsenal Threshold

30/12/2009
US billionaire Stan Kroenke has upped his stake in Premier League side Arsenal and is now just 17 shares away from being forced to launch a takeover bid for the club, reports this week have claimed.

Mr Kroenke now owns around 29.9% of Arsenal’s business, with UK takeover guidelines dictating that should a shareholder’s stake in a company reach 30%, he or she must make an offer for the entire stockholding.

The American sports tycoon has so far refused to comment on his intentions for the club, but his latest £212,500 acquisition of a further 25 shares has now pushed him incredibly close to the threshold for a full buy-out of the business.

Mr Kroenke, who has been gradually increasing his stake in the club this year, is Arsenal’s biggest shareholder by some distance – with the second-biggest being the 26% held by Uzbek mining mogul Alisher Usmanov, who first invested in the club in 2007 when he paid $75 million for shares held by former vice-chairman David Dein.

Following Mr Kroenke’s latest share purchase, Mr Usmanov has called for the American – who already owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and MLS side the Colorado Rapids – to issue a statement on his plans for the club’s future.

“Mr Kroenke has never taken the opportunity to reassure the fans and it would be good for the club’s stability if he were to do so,” a spokesman for Mr Usmanov’s Red and White Holdings company told the BBC’s website earlier this week.
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