English Premiership

Kroenke ups Arsenal stake

2009-11-03 14:24
Stan Kroenke (File)

London - United States businessman Stan Kroenke moved closer towards being obliged to launch a takeover bid for Arsenal after purchasing 427 more shares in the English Premiership club.

It was announced on Tuesday that Kroenke, having spent some 3.6 million pounds, had upped his stake in Arsenal to 29.6 percent, fractionally short of the 29.9 percent mark that would require him to launch a takeover for Arsenal under British law.

Last week the Denver-based Kroenke, already Arsenal's largest individual shareholder, had increased his stake to 28.9 percent after buying 10 additional shares at a cost of some 85 000 pounds.

That followed his 765 000 pounds share purchase in the London club last month.

At Arsenal's recent Annual General Meeting (AGM), Kroenke remained silent when asked about his plans.

Gunners chairperson Peter Hill-Wood intervened, pointing out any public statements regarding future bid intentions must be unambiguous, otherwise the individual or group would, under the rules, be prevented from making a formal move for six months.

"I don't think we are looking for a change in custodian," Hill-Wood told the AGM. "I think you will find the club is in pretty good hands.

"I believe he (Kroenke) is happy to be a long-term shareholder in our club."

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