Nichols and Meyer Capital Partners Report: Arsenal become the 5th British club to fall into American hands
Online PR News – 29-April-2011 – – Stank Kroenke has increased his stake in Arsenal to a massive 62.8% as well as completing a mandatory cash offer to buy remaining shares. The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust was unwilling to sell their small stake in the club as was Alisher Usmanov, who holds 27% shares.
Usmanov’s stake in the club is adequate to stop any major restructuring at the club but it does not allow him any say in transfers, contract negotiations, or in the daily running of the club.
London based fans are reportedly unsettled about the move but the club is putting a positive spin on affairs seeing this as a new era for the club, and marking an end to shareholder uncertainty.
The Arsenal Independent Supporters' Association have stated: ‘ The sale of large tranches of the club's shares over the last few years has created a good deal of uncertainty amongst supporters, and together with the constant media speculation has had an unsettling effect. The announcement on April 11, 2011 marks the start of a new era for Arsenal, and the beginning of the end of that uncertainty.’
In addition to this, Kroenke has made a promise not to increase ticket prices, nor to transfer any debt from share purchase, or any personal debt on to Arsenal FC. The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust has also stressed that Kroenke should uphold Arsenal’s innovative Fanshare scheme, the trust keen to maintain their say in the running of the club. Kroenke has reportedly stated that the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust provides 'independent perspective to the shareholders, board and management' as well as being important contributors to the club.
Kroenke acquired his shares primarily from Lady Bracewell-Smith and Danny Fiszman who between them owned 32% of the club. Lady Bracewell-Smith was reportedly trying to sell her shares in the club for over a year but was finding it difficult due to over evaluating her shares at £15,000 each. It is rumoured Kroenke purchased them at the lower price of £11,500 per share. Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith reportedly netted £123 million from selling her share of Arsenal FC.