National News

Supplied by

Russian billionaire Usmanov exploring sale of his Arsenal stake, FT says

10:13 am, 24th July 2018

Mr Usmanov had hoped to buy the club from Mr Kroenke but the US sports mogul has refused to engage in takeover talks, the paper said, citing people close to the Russian tycoon.

Having grown frustrated that Mr Kroenke is unwilling to sell at any price, Mr Usmanov is reportedly ready to sell his 30% stake in the English Premier League club.

In October, Kroenke Sports Enterprise UK (KSE) offered around £525m to buy the 18,695 shares held by Mr Usmanov’s Red and White Securities Limited.

Mr Usmanov turned down that offer saying: “My interest in Arsenal from the beginning was long term and my intention has always been to buy additional shares should they become available.

“This I did with the purchase of the stake of my business partner Farhad Moshiri with which I increased my shareholding from 15% to 30%, and also with my proposed offer for the stake of the majority shareholder which valued the club at some £2bn. That offer remains valid today.”

In May last year, Mr Usmanov made a $1.3bn (£1bn) offer to buy out his rival shareholder but that was rejected.

Despite being the club’s second-largest individual shareholder, Mr Usmanov has not been given a seat on the board and it appears unlikely that situation will change.

Arsenal finished a disappointing sixth last season, missing out on a Champions League qualifying spot. Manager Arsene Wenger left after almost 22 years at the club, and was replaced by former Paris St Germain coach Unai Emery.