Kroenke increases Arsenal stake again to go within 50 shares of takeover bid

26 November 2009 02:50
Stan Kroenke has upped his Arsenal shareholding for the second time in a week to edge ever closer to a takeover bid for the Gunners.

The American business tycoon, who also owns US sports teams Colorado Rapids, the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche, has bought 20 more shares for £170,000 just three days after adding another 10 to his collection.

His stake in the club is believed to be just 42 shares short of reaching the critical 30 per cent level.

The prize: Arsenal stars like Robin van Persie (left) and Cesc Fabregas make the Gunners attractive

If he passed 29.99 per cent, under the strict financial rules of the City Kroenke would be obliged to make a formal offer for the remainder of the shares at the highest price paid for stock during the past 12 months, which was £10,500 in May. 

However, shareholders would not be forced to sell. If Kroenke, already on the Arsenal board, was not able to reach 50 per cent from the bid, then he could not return to make another takeover offer for 12 months, unless invited to do so by the company.

Money men: Arsenal's biggest shareholder Stan Kroenke (left) and Gunners chairman Peter Hill-Wood

It has been suggested Kroenke's continued steady investment is designed to fend off possible aggressive moves by Russian Alisher Usmanov, whose Red & White Holdings have just over 25 per cent of the club. 

Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, who left the board during December last year, could well hold the balance of power with her family's 15.9 per cent stake, which if sold to either Kroenke or Usmanov would push both well past the takeover threshold.

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Source: Daily_Mail