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Nigeria tycoon eyes Arsenal stake

LAGOS, May 24- Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote is interested in buying a 16 percent stake in English Premier League club Arsenal, local media reported Monday.Dangote, listed by Forbes magazine as one of the world’s richest men told ThisDay newspaper that he was "seriously considering" buying the stake of Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith’s.

That stake is worth 96 million pounds (138 million dollars), making her Arsenal’s fourth largest shareholder.

Dangote said he had "for a while" been nursing the idea of investing in Arsenal, a team he has supported for a "long time".

"It started in 1980 when I forged a relationship with Mr David Dein, former vice chairman of the board of Arsenal.

"That is when I developed an interest in Arsenal, and when the opportunity presented itself to acquire a stake in the club, I went for it," he told the paper.

Dangote, a leading business mogul, controls much of the west African country’s commodity manufacturing and trade including cement, sugar, flour, pasta, salt, cooking oil and textile products among others.

The US Forbes magazine has rated him one of the world’s richest Africans with a net worth of around 3.3 billion dollars.

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