Stan Kroenke, the majority shareholder of Arsenal, owning 66.83% of the North London based club, has not contacted Arsenal over a potential takeover by a Middle East consortium and is believed to have no intentions of selling his shares. The bidders, who wanted their identities to be kept anonymous, told the Daily Telegraph that they would buy all of the 62,217 shares, and would pay Kroenke £830 million for his shares which is £400 million more than the £430+ million he paid in April 2011. The group would reportedly pay £1.5 billion for all of the shares, which is about £20,000 per share. If the deal goes through they would wipe out Arsenal’s £250 million debts, and provide both a larger transfer budget and lower ticket prices.
But a source close to Arsenal said that the group has not approached Kroenke or Arsenal’s other main shareholder Alisher Usmanov, and that the American and Russian will be stubborn about giving up their shares. A meeting with the two has been requested by the group, but their has been no response from Kroenke or Usmanov.
The bidders did warn Kroenke though that if Arsenal are not successful they will not bid. “Arsenal is at a pivotal position at the moment,” they told Telegraph Sport. “The fear is that the club is facing a cycle of decline like Liverpool. From our point of view it is the perfect moment to make this bid because at this moment in time you can still genuinely justify this extraordinary valuation on the club.
“We will not bid for Arsenal if they go into decline. Kroenke and Usmanov will not get this kind of valuation if Arsenal do not succeed and will not get this kind of valuation ever again. We think that bidding now is the key because it is going to give every shareholder maximum value. We are giving them peak valuation.”
They also criticized Kroenke’s poor handling of club affairs saying that his lack of experience with football is bad. “The biggest problem with Arsenal is that it has no owner, no face and there is no one to report to,” the bidders claimed. “The management of the club at every level is not put under scrutiny and does not have to report to anyone.”