Gunners secure US investment

06 April 2007 08:00
American billionaire Stan Kroenke has acquired a 9.9 per cent stake in Arsenal after completing the purchase of ITV's stake in the Premiership club. Kroenke Sports Enterprise (KSE) has bought the shareholding from the broadcasting company and will also purchase a further 50 per cent of Arsenal Broadband Limited in a combined deal coasting £65million. KSE is a major player in the US sports world with Kroenke owning MLS soccer side Colorado Rapids plus further interests in NFL team St Louis Rams, the Denver Nuggets basketball team and the Colorado Avalanche ice hockey franchise. The move fuels rumours that Kroenke will ultimately launch a takeover bid for the Gunners, although vice-chairman David Dein and director Danny Fiszman have continually stated their intentions not to sell up. Back in February the American tycoon announced a link-up with the Gunners through the Colorado Rapids to send players and coaches between the two clubs. However, last month KSE also claimed it had "no interest or intention" of buying into Arsenal. An ITV statement to the stock exchange read: "ITV plc today announced that it had unconditionally sold its 9.99 per cent shareholding interest in Arsenal Holdings plc to KSE UK INC, a vehicle controlled by Stan Kroenke, and has also entered into conditional arrangements with KSE UK INC in relation to the sale of its 50 per cent shareholding in Arsenal Broadband Limited." Should Kroenke decide to launch a takeover then the Gunners would follow fellow Premiership sides Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa who already have American owners.

Source: ESA