Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has had his €1.8billion offer to take full ownership of the club accepted by Alisher Usmanov.
The American’s company, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, currently owns 67% of the Gunners and has offered to purchase the 30% held by Usmanov’s Red and White Securities firm.
In a statement published on the London Stock Exchange, Kroenke said: “We at KSE are moving forward with this offer leading to 100% ownership of the club.
“We appreciate Mr Usmanov’s dedication to the Arsenal Football Club and the storied ethos and history the club represents.”
KSE says it has received an “irrevocable undertaking” from Red and White Securities to accept the offer as soon as possible, and in any event by 3pm on Tuesday.
In October last year KSE offered around £525million to buy the 18,695 shares held by Usmanov.
Kroenke believes taking the north London club into private ownership will increase their chances of success in the future.
The statement continued: “The successful implementation of the offer will result in the opening of a new chapter in the history of the club in bringing 100 per cent private ownership by KSE.
“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. KSE is a committed, long-term owner of the club.”
The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust said the news marked “a dreadful day for Arsenal Football Club”.
A statement read: “Stan Kroenke taking the club private will see the end of supporters owning shares in Arsenal and their role upholding custodianship values.
“The most dreadful part of this announcement is the news that Kroenke plans to forcibly purchase the shares held by Arsenal fans.
“Many of these fans are AST members and hold their shares not for value but as custodians who care for the future of the club. Kroenke’s actions will neuter their voice and involvement.
“The AST is wholly against this takeover. Arsenal remains too important to be owned by any one person.”
In a statement released to Press Association Sport, Red and White Securities confirmed their acceptance of the deal on offer from KSE.
It read: “Red and White Holdings Limited (“Red and White”) today confirms that Mr Alisher Usmanov has given an irrevocable undertaking to KSE, UK, Inc. to accept the Offer in respect of Red and White Securities’ entire holding of 18,695 Arsenal Shares (representing approximately 30.05 per cent) for an agreed price of £29,419.64 per share in cash valuing Red and White Securities’ stake at just over £550million.”
Usmanov himself added a brief statement, although did not offer any reason as to why he has now accepted an offer for his stake.
“I have decided to sell my shares in Arsenal Football Club which could be the best football club in the world,” he said.
“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.”
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