Kroenke set for Arsenal takeover

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LONDON, April 11 – American sports tycoon Stan Kroenke is set to launch a full takeover of Arsenal after agreeing a deal to increase his majority shareholding in the Premier League club, according to reports on Sunday.Kroenke already owns 29.9 percent of Arsenal’s shares and a BBC report claims he has negotiated the acquisition of the 16.1 percent stake held by Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith’s 15.9 percent stake.

If the Denver-based billionaire does manage to buy those shares he would own 62 percent of Arsenal and would be obliged to make an offer for the remaining shares.

The BBC report says Kroenke has agreed to pay £11,000 per share, which would amount to a £225 million ($368,527 million) outlay and values the club at £750 million.

Russian steel magnate Alisher Usmanov is Arsenal’s other major shareholder, holding a 27 percent stake through his Red and White Holdings.

Last month Kroenke, 63, increased his stake in Arsenal to within 10 shares of the threshold that forces him to make a takeover bid when he acquired seven more shares at a cost of £8,500 each.

Kroenke, who first bought a 9.99 percent stake in Arsenal in April 2007, also owns the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

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