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Arsenal valued at £1.8bn as Kroenke offers to buy remaining shares

07 August 2018

Stan Kroenke has launched a £1.8billion to take complete control at Arsenal.

Arsenal fans have expressed anger at the news U.S. businessman Stan Kroenke is set to take control over the club by buying out Russian magnate Alisher Usmanov. Kroenke and Usmanov have since been locked in stalemate.

Kroenke has reportedly had a £600 million (US$778 million) bid for Usmanov's 30 percent stake in the London club accepted, boosting the U.S. businessman's current 67 percent share ownership.

The statement on the London Stock Exchange said KSE, a DE corporation owned by Kroenke, holds 41,743 Arsenal shares.

Mr Kroenke, through his wholly-owned Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, now holds a 67% stake in the London club.

The agreement between Kroenke and Deutsche Bank pledges his entire company, stating, 'all of the issued and outstanding shares of capital stock of KSE at any time owned by the Pledgor, ' has been provided as collateral to secure the loan.

Initially viewed with suspicion by the board, Kroenke started building up his position from 2007 as he slowly bought out the families who had run the 132-year-old club for generations.

The American sports mogul already owns 67 percent of Arsenal.

KSE said it has received "irrevocable undertaking" to buy out Arsenal's second-biggest investor, Russian-Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov.

Arsenal last won the Premier League title in 2004.

When Kroenke assumes full control of Arsenal, he would be able to remove as much of the roughly £300m cash from the club as he might wish.

Kroenke's company KSE also owns NFL's LA Rams, NBA'S Denver Nuggets, NHL team Colorado Avalanche and MLS side Colorado Rapids.

Nevertheless, the club's ownership, and Kroenke's wealth, is theoretically at risk until the debt is settled.

Arsenal have a new manager in charge this season after Unai Emery took over from Arsene Wenger, who had been Gunners boss for 22 years.

After news broke of the bid the Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) called it a "dreadful day" for the football club. "We appreciate Mr. Usmanov's dedication to the Arsenal Football Club and the storied ethos and history the club represents".

"The Arsenal Supporters' Trust is wholly against this takeover", one fans' group said.

While Kroenke has promised a "new chapter" in the history of Arsenal, the news of the takeover offer has not gone down well with the club's supporters.

"The AST is also extremely concerned to note that this purchase is being funded by a loan".

"Kroenke plans to forcibly purchase the shares held by Arsenal fans. Arsenal remains too important to be owned by any one person".

Arsenal valued at £1.8bn as Kroenke offers to buy remaining shares