Kroenke ups Arsenal stake, closes in on takeover

Kroenke ups Arsenal stake, closes in on takeover

Published Dec. 21, 2009 10:29 p.m. ET

American businessman Stan Kroenke has increased his stake in Arsenal and is now within 17 shares of the threshold that forces him to make a takeover bid.

Kroenke, who owns 29.9 percent of Arsenal, acquired 25 more shares last week at a cost of 212,500 pounds ($342,400), the Premier League club said Monday.

If the Denver-based businessman reaches 30 percent, he has to make an offer for the remaining shares in Arsenal Holdings.

If Kroenke manages to acquire more than 50 percent of the shares he will gain legal control of the club. If he reaches 90 percent he can compulsorily purchase the remaining shares.

But if he fails to surpass the 50 percent level, he is prohibited from making another takeover bid for at least a year - unless asked to do so by the club.

But Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov - the club's second-largest shareholder - signaled his interest in a takeover earlier this month by taking his stake beyond 26 percent through investment vehicle Red and White Holdings.

Unlike Kroenke, Usmanov has not been invited on the board of directors.

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.