Arsenal’s majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, has bid almost £525m to buy out Alisher Usmanov, the second-largest shareholder who has tried several times to wrest control of the club. Only last May the American resisted Usmanov’s latest attempt at a takeover, and within the past couple of weeks this slow-burning struggle for full control took a twist as Kroenke offered £28,000 per share for the Russian’s stake.
Kroenke owns 67% of Arsenal; Usmanov has a 30.4% stake. The remaining shares belong to minority shareholders, many of whom have preserved a small holding for decades, even passing down the generations. Having two main investors who do not have a working relationship, despite having been on the scene for the past 10 years and who appear to hold one another in low regard, is not a healthy situation. Usmanov has never been able to secure a seat on the board or influence any decisions and both men know this will continue with the current awkwardly cut pieces of the Arsenal cake.
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