American businessman Stan Kroenke vowed to bring silverware back to Arsenal’s trophy cabinet after securing a 62.89% controlling share in the club.
Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE) cleared the way for a full takeover after agreeing to buy out major shareholders Danny Fiszman (16.1%) and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith (15.9%) for around £234million.
By passing the 30% threshold, Kroenke is obliged to make a cash offer for the remaining capital at £11,750 per share. The club’s total value has been set at £731million.
Kroenke will become the fifth American owner in the Premier League - one quarter of the clubs - with Arsenal joining an established sporting stable. KSE already own NFL franchise the St Louis Rams, NBA team the Denver Nuggets, NHL club the Colorado Avalanche and Major League Soccer champions the Colorado Rapids.
Arsenal, league champions on 13 occasions, have not won a trophy since the FA Cup in 2005 but Kroenke has backed Arsene Wenger as manager and vowed to bring success to the Emirates Stadium.
“Arsenal is a fantastic club with a special history and tradition and a wonderful manager in Arsene Wenger,” said Kroenke. “We intend to build on this rich heritage and take the club to new success.”
Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Sunderland are all owned by American businessmen, while five other Premier League clubs are in foreign hands.
Wenger is convinced Kroenke will respect the traditions Arsenal have built - a reputation for developing young players - and his involvement will be for the good of the club.
Kroenke plans to continue operating the club in line with its existing “self-sustaining business model” and he will not be funding his offer with debt finance secured against the club.