US businessman Stan Kroenke has gained a controlling interest in English giants Arsenal.Kroenke also plans to mount a takeover bid for the club now that he has the majority share.
The American now has a 62.89 per cent majority stake in the Gunners after acquiring the 16.1 per cent and 15.9 per cent slices from major shareholders Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith respectively.
Kroenke, whose company controls NBA side the Denver Nuggets, NHL ‘s Colorado Avalanche, the NFL’s St Louis Rams and Major League Soccer club Colorado Rapids, had a 29.9 per cent stake in the north London club before the takeover.
“We intend to build on this rich heritage and take the club to new success. Arsenal is a fantastic club with a special history and tradition and a wonderful manager in Arsene Wenger.”
“We are excited about the opportunity to increase our involvement with and commitment to Arsenal,” Kroenke said.
He proclaimed that his leadership, whereby Peter Hill-Wood is being retained as chairman, will deliver results to the trophy-hungry Gunners’ fans.
Wenger also sprinkled praise on Kroenke in the wake of the latest developments.
“I have worked with Stan Kroenke at board meetings over the past couple of years and I believe he has the best interests of Arsenal at heart.”
“He understands the club’s heritage and traditions and our ambition to run the club in a way which protects our long-term future.”
Most of the remaining shares left for Kroenke to buy are held by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov.
Usmanov does not have a seat on the club’s board but owns 27 per cent of Arsenal’s holding company.
With Arsenal carrying debts of 147 million pounds, the deal values the Emirates club at close to 900 million pounds.