Stan Kroenke: What does Stan Kroenke’s bid mean for Arsenal? What will change?
ARSENAL majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has launched a move to take full ownership of the club with a bid that values that club at £1.8bn.
Kroenke’s company already owns 67% of Arsenal and has offered to purchase 30% from Alisher Usmanov’s Red and White Securities firm.
Kroenke Sports and Entertainment would then take full ownership of the club.
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 a statement published on the London Stock Exchange, Kroenke said: “We at KSE are moving forward with this offer leading to 100 per cent ownership of the club.
“We appreciate Mr Usmanov’s dedication to the Arsenal Football Club and the storied ethos and history the club represents.”
In October last year KSE offered around £525million to buy the 18,695 shares held by Usmanov.
What does it mean for the club?
Kroenke believes taking the north London club into private ownership will increase their chances of success in the future.
The Gunners last won the Premier League title in 2004 and last season finished sixth, 37 points behind champions Manchester City.
Unai Emery was appointed manager in May after the club said farewell to Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge.
How much will he pay?
Kroenke’s offer values the club at £1.8bn.
“The offer is not being funded by way of any debt finance (bank loans, payment in kind loans or other debt or quasi debt interest bearing obligations) for which the payment of interest on, repayment of, or security for any liability (contingent or otherwise) will depend on the business of Arsenal,” said the statement.
What does it mean for Unai Emery?
Probably very little before Thursday’s transfer deadline with the financial aspects unlikely to be sorted in time to impact their transfer spending.
He will be more concerned with getting his team ready for the Premier League opener with Manchester City on Sunday than anything else.
What do fans think?
Arsenal fans are concerned about Kroenke’s facelessness and accountability with the fear being that he will run it solely as a business and without the fans interests at heart.
Arsenal Trust member Tim Payton tweeted: “Disastrous news for Arsenal. Looking set to be wholly owned by American investor. Will transfer business to the US. No accountability, no transparency, finances hidden. Supporter shareholders forced out. Custodianship dead.
“And the financing of the purchase of Arsenal shares being financed by loans. Arsenal being mortgaged so an investor American can make money out of the club.
“Taking this action in the week the new season starts just shows how little regard Kroenke has for the club. It’s what you get when club falls into hands of someone who doesn’t support the club but merely sees it as money making. RIP Custodian Arsenal
“Under this takeover, Kroenke can move Arsenal to Delaware in the US. Then he can pay management fees and dividends without scrutiny. Can also load debt onto the club – this offer is funded by Deutsche Bank. RIP Arsenal Custodianship.
“Also important to remember Kroenke lied in his last takeover document. Promised then to engage with fans. Not one meeting since. Don’t trust a word he says. All about money not football. RIP custodianship at Arsenal.”
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.”