Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Billionaire Rams owner Stan Kroenke secures Arsenal takeover with $712M bid

Billionaire Rams owner Stan Kroenke secures Arsenal takeover with $712M bid

"I wish all the best and great success to this wonderful football club and to all those whose lives and careers are entwined in it".

Having built up a portfolio of sporting investment in his native US, Kroenke ventured into Premier League football when he purchased a minor stake in the club in 2007.

In October past year KSE offered around £525million to buy the 18,695 shares held by Usmanov, the Russian businessman who himself attempted to buy-out Kroenke in May 2017.

On Tuesday, Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke struck a deal with rival Alisher Usmanov to buy out the Russian's shares at Arsenal.

A statement from Kroenke Sports & Entertainment said it has "received an irrevocable undertaking from [Usmanov's] Red and White Securities to accept the offer".

The Russian made a bid to buy-out Kroenke previous year but it failed and, with his business partner Farhad Moshiri owning Everton, Usmanov could invest the money he is set to receive from KSE into the Toffees and be made to feel much more welcome.

The Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) issued a strongly-worded statement claiming the news "marks a awful day" for the club and #KroenkeOut was trending on Twitter in the United Kingdom by the middle of the morning.

Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League, said having a single owner would benefit the club but fans said it was a "dreadful" day.

First reported by The New York Times, the agreement (worth about $712 million) not only ends a decade-long battle for full ownership between Kroenke and Usmanov but ensures Kroenke can "purchase the remaining shares in the club" and "take the club private".

Stan Kroenke makes share bid for full control of Arsenal

The deal values the north London club at £1.8bn.

'KSE believes moving to private ownership will bring the benefits of a single owner better able to move quickly in furtherance of the club's strategy and ambitions. The problem the club's fans have with this move, however, is that it means they will no longer hold any shares.

Unai Emery was appointed manager in May after the club said farewell to Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge.

He also discussed the criticism aimed at Arsenal Fan TV by Arsenal right back Hector Bellerin last season in regards to the Catalan footballer's view that their presence has been far from helpful for the club.

"The AST is wholly against this takeover".

In Wenger's final season, Arsenal finished sixth in the Premier League as they missed out on the Champions League but qualified for the group stages of the Europa League.

'It is concerning that if this deal goes ahead there could be no Independent Directors on the Arsenal board, and so we appeal to Stan Kroenke to ensure that fans will have a say in how the club operates going forward.

So, who is Kroenke and how long has he been involved with Arsenal?

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