The majority owner of Arsenal soccer club agreed to buy out Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s stake, ending a dispute between the tycoons over management of the London team.
KSE UK, an investment vehicle of American billionaire Stan Kroenke, will make an offer to buy all outstanding shares in Arsenal Holdings Plc, KSE said in a statement Tuesday. Usmanov’s Red & White Securities agreed to tender its 30 percent stake in the bid, which values the club at 1.8 billion pounds ($2.3 billion), according to the statement.
“We appreciate Mr. Usmanov’s dedication to the Arsenal Football Club and the storied ethos and history the club represents,” Kroenke said in the statement. Kroenke owns 67 percent of the listed company that controls the club.
Usmanov last year voiced his opposition to Kroenke as the team struggled through a disappointing season, saying he’s responsible for the team’s performance on the pitch. He also called for an overhaul of Arsenal’s commercial operations.
Manager Arsene Wenger, who had led the club since 1996, stepped down at the end of the most recent season, in which the team finished sixth in the Premier League and again missed out on the elite Champions League competition.
Usmanov, whose assets include miner Metalloinvest Holding Co. and Russian telecommunications operator MegaFon PJSC, has long been critical of Arsenal’s management, saying as long ago as 2012 that a lack of investment was holding the club back from competing for top honours.
The Financial Times reported last month that he was exploring a sale of his stake after unsuccessfully trying to engage Kroenke in talks.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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