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Arsenal welcome Kroenke takeover
American businessman Stan Kroenke is set to buy Arsenal in a deal which values the club at €832m.

AMERICAN BILLIONAIRE STAN KROENKE has taken majority control of Arsenal FC, making the North London club the tenth Premier League side to have foreign ownership.

It was announced this morning that Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE) had come to an agreement with major shareholders Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith who have both agreed to sell their entire holdings to the group.

The deal is believed to value the club at £731m (€832m).

This morning’s purchase takes KSE’s total stake to approximately 62.89%, a level at which they must now bid to purchase the remaining shares and become the club’s sole owner. Reports indicate that Kroenke has reached an informal agreement with Alisher Usmanov, the Russian billionaire controls 27% of the club’s holding company.

Kroenke first acquired an interest in Arsenal in 2007 when he purchased less than 10% of the club’s shares. Since then, he has gradually accumulated stock and become a familiar face to the existing Arsenal hierarchy.

Commenting on the news, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger welcomed Kroenke’s decision to purchase the club as the right one.

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.

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood also spoke highly of the club’s new owner, describing him as a “safe custodian” of the club’s future.

The board of directors and I consider it a key responsibility to protect the ethos and spirit of the club.
Mr Kroenke, although relatively new to Arsenal, has shown himself to be a man who values and respects the history and traditions of this very special club that we cherish. We are confident that he will be a safe custodian of its future.

It is not yet known if Kroenke’s purchase will signal a signficant increase in the club’s transfer warchest in the future.

The American, who has predominantly made his money through the construction of shopping centres and malls, had his personal wealth estimated at £1.77bn ($2.9bn) by the Forbes Rich List in 2010.

His family also have a strong tradition of involvement in sports. KSE currently owns stakes in NBA side the Denver Nuggets, NFL side St. Louis Rams, Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer and ice hockey team the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL.