Stan Kroenke, a US businessman is set to takeover Arsenal FC after it was confirmed that he had increased his stake at the club to 62.89% and will make the mandatory offer in an attempt to acquire the remaining shares in the club.
The Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE) first bought 9.9% of shares in Arsenal in the year 2007. Since then, Kroenke has gradually built his ground buying out major shareholders Danny Fiszman (16.1%) and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith (15.9%).
Kroenke said in a statement to the Stock Exchange, "We are excited about the opportunity to increase our involvement with and commitment to Arsenal.
"Arsenal is a fantastic club with a special history and tradition and a wonderful manager in Arsene Wenger. We intend to build on this rich heritage and take the club to new success. I am delighted that Peter Hill-Wood has agreed to support us by continuing as chairman.
"We especially wish to acknowledge and thank the board, Danny Fiszman and the Fiszman family as well as Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith and her family for the confidence they have had in me over the past years and in allowing us to move forward in this more prominent role.''
According to the takeover laws, a shareholder should launch a formal bid for the remaining shares in the club once he passes 29.99%. After buying out Fiszman and Bracewell-Smith, Kroenke will now be looking to purchase the stakes of Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov controls 27% of the club's holding company.
The Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) released a statement after the news saying, "AST thinks it is really important that supporters remain involved in Arsenal's ownership structure. Stan Kroenke has a good relationship with the AST and recently supported our fanshare scheme. We are hopeful of having discussions with him to discuss how our members and Arsenal supporters can keep their shares in Arsenal Football Club.''
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also welcomed the news and said, "I have worked with Stan Kroenke at board meetings over the past couple of years and I believe he has the best interests of Arsenal at heart. He understands the club's heritage and traditions and our ambition to run the club in a way which protects our long-term future.''
KSE is involved with franchises in other Sports and already owns NBA basketball team Denver Nuggets, NHL ice hockey team Colorado Avalanche and Major League Soccer side the Colorado Rapids.