Arsenal Supporters' Trust respond to Stan Kroenke takeover bid
07 August, 2018, 16:58 | Author: Tommie Newton
Mr Kroenke, through his wholly-owned Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, now holds a 67% stake in the London club. The company is offering £29,419.64 ($38,116.50) in cash for each share, valuing the entire club at £1.8 billion.
A statement from Kroenke Sports & Entertainment said it has "received an irrevocable undertaking from (Usmanov's) Red and White Securities to accept the offer".
The Arsenal Supporters' Trust, a fan group, said the news of Kroenke's offer "marks a awful day" for the club.
The American billionaire's decision to make his latest offer comes from his belief that taking the club private with a single, long-term owner will benefit them with respect to moving quicker in accordance to their strategy and ambitions.
"Stan Kroenke taking the club private will see the end of supporters owning shares in Arsenal and their role upholding custodianship values".
Aside from its stake in Arsenal, KSE also owns a number of U.S. sports clubs across a number of codes including; the Los Angeles Rams in American Football, the Colorado Avalanche in ice hockey and the Denver Nuggets in basketball.
Stan Kroenke's impending takeover has been branded "legalised theft" by the Arsenal Supporters Trust.
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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.
"We at KSE are moving forward with this offer leading to 100 percent ownership of the club", Kroenke said in the LSE statement.
"I think it's very sad that we're in danger of losing any transparency into how our club is run", he said. Many of these fans are AST members and hold their shares not for value but as custodians who care for the future of the club. "Kroenke's actions will neuter their voice and involvement", the Trust said in a statement.
Arsenal, who finished sixth last season, launch their 2018-19 Premier League campaign at home to champions Manchester City on Sunday under new manager Unai Emery.
Kroenke, 71, has a fortune valued at $8.3 billion by Forbes, and has a portfolio of assets that includes National Football League franchise the Los Angeles Rams, NBA club the Denver Nuggets, NHL team Colorado Avalanche, and MLS club Colorado Rapids.
The former Paris Saint-Germain manager replaced long-serving boss Arsene Wenger in May.
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