Gunners takeover saga takes new twist

12 April 2010 07:02
Arsenal have moved closer towards a takeover after the club's third-largest shareholder reportedly began the process of selling her stake.

Lady Bracewell-Smith, who holds nearly 16% of the club's shares, has appointed bankers to find a buyer for the shares, according to the Evening Standard.

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov and Stan Kroenke have long been fighting for control of the club and if either bought a notable amount of Bracewell-Smith's stock, it would trigger a formal takeover bid.

Kroenke reportedly needs as few as 10 shares to reach the threshold. He holds 29.9% of shares, the highest figure allowed by Stock Exchange rules without a takeover bid.

Usmanov's Red and White Holdings have 26%.

Bracewell Smith could get £80million if she sells out altogether and is understood to have hired Blackstone, a US group, to find a buyer, a move which could imply she is not intending to sell to fellow director Kroenke.

The decision is something of a surprise as Bracewell-Smith has often insisted she has no intention of selling her stake.

Arsenal offered no comment on the report.

Source: Team_Talk