BREAKING: Kroenke makes offer to buy out Usmanov

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Stan Kroenke

Stan Kroenke has made an offer to buy Alisher Usmanov’s entire shareholding in Arsenal for £550 million, valuing the club at £1.8 billion.

It was reported last week that the Uzbek-born businessman was looking to sell his stake having grown frustrated at his lack of say in the club.

If the sale between the two men were to happen, then Kroenke would own 97.13% of the club’s shares, allowing him under current rules to compulsorily purchase all remaining shares and take the club private.

A statement from KSE reads:

KSE, UK, Inc. (“KSE”) is pleased to announce the terms of its all-cash offer to acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Arsenal Holdings PLC (“Arsenal”), other than the Arsenal Shares already held by KSE (the “Offer”).

— KSE, a Delaware corporation wholly-owned by Mr E. Stanley Kroenke, currently holds 41,743 Arsenal Shares, representing approximately 67.09 per cent. of the existing issued share capital of Arsenal.

— KSE has received an irrevocable undertaking from Red and White Securities to accept the Offer in respect of Red and White Securities’ entire holding of 18,695 Arsenal Shares (representing approximately 30.05 per cent. of the existing issued share capital of Arsenal, and approximately 91.31 per cent. of the Arsenal Shares not currently held by KSE) as soon as possible following the publication of the Offer Document and in any event by 3.00 p.m. today.

— The Offer is conditional only upon KSE receiving valid acceptances representing not less than 90 per cent. of the Arsenal Shares to which the Offer relates (being the Arsenal Shares not held by KSE). Therefore, upon the valid acceptance of the Offer by or on behalf of Red and White Securities, the Offer will become unconditional as to acceptances and unconditional in all respects.

— Under the terms of the Offer, which will be subject to the Acceptance Condition and further terms set out in Appendix 1 to this Announcement and the full terms and condition set out in the Offer Document, Arsenal Shareholders will be entitled to receive:

For each Arsenal Share GBP29,419.64 in cash

— The Offer values the entire issued share capital of Arsenal at approximately GBP1.8 billion.

— The successful implementation of the Offer will result in the opening of a new chapter in the history of the Club in bringing 100 per cent. private ownership by KSE. KSE believes moving to private ownership will bring the benefits of a single owner better able to move quickly in furtherance of the Club’s strategy and ambitions. KSE is a committed, long-term owner of the Club.

— Arsenal Shares will be acquired pursuant to the Offer fully paid with full title guarantee and free from all liens, equities, charges, encumbrances, options, rights of pre-emption and any other third party rights and interests of any nature and together with all rights now or hereafter attaching or accruing to them, including voting rights and the right to receive and retain in full all dividends and other distributions (if any) declared, made or paid from Completion.

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On the bid, Kroenke says: “We at KSE are moving forward with this Offer leading to 100% ownership of the Club. We appreciate Mr Usmanov’s dedication to the Arsenal Football Club and the storied ethos and history the Club represents.”

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More to follow…

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OzilGummidge
OzilGummidge

So it begins…

JJs Bender
JJs Bender

Oh balls.

Gooooonnnnnnaaaaaaa
Gooooonnnnnnaaaaaaa

We.Are.Fucked.

Merlin's Panini
Merlin's Panini

Fuck.

Damo Dinkum
Damo Dinkum

Uh oh

LEFT08
LEFT08

Nightmare. Fucking nightmare.

Gawhy
Gawhy

Death becomes us

Ranbo
Ranbo

Jesus

Theodor
Theodor

We are fucked

Shitbird
Shitbird

We’ve been fucked for a long time.

ThisisMe
ThisisMe

Is this why Ivan is jumping?

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

Yes

goongot
goongot

yes jumping from one to be privately owned club to another already privately owned club ! fan speculations makes no sense at all.

Vonnie
Vonnie

Very possibly. I think he wanted to leave before and they paid that big bonus so he stayed for a while, but now he has mates starting a brand new venture he may well have decided enough is enough.

Glocken
Glocken

RIP Arsenal.

Arsenal going private means no accountability, no transparency and no need for Kroenke to release accounts, fans would be very much in the dark.

At least we know now why Gazidis is leaving.

This is a very dark day and effectively the end of Arsenal as a competitive club for the medium to long term with Kroenke in charge.

If you thought the three million consultancy fees paid to KSE over the last few years were bad, that’s small change now, Kroenke has license to bleed our club dry.

Devastated.

gooner1981
gooner1981

Bring benefits of an owner, or bring benefits to the owner? Is there any silver lining to this massive, gloomy cloud?

Rich
Rich

This proves that every cloud does not have a silver lining.
This cloud has a gold lining and Kroenke is going to strip it and bank the lot to fund the rest of his empire.
The £3mill he took two years running is set to become a drop in the ocean

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Crumbs typical lawyer speak, lots of words to say something simple!!! I can’t say this news is particularly great, AU will now join Everton and probably make them stronger, whilst SK will suck money out of Arsenal rather than invest!!! The news that chambers is going out on loan and another old player who is very unpopular is potentially coming in is bizarre!!! Should have spent £35m on one decent defender!!! I think this season will see similar defensive failings as before but gotta hope our fire power will land us a top four spot and then seriously invest in the defence!!! I would say, unless kolisinac drastically improves, we will be in desperate need of a quality left back as nacho is coming to the end of his career!!! The centre backs are even more worryin, especially the more senior players!!! Sell mustafi and bring in serious quality!!!

Hank1979
Hank1979

It might not make a whole pile of difference in the short to medium term. Its not as if they can invest any less in the club. More likely that they will sell out to a middle east billionaire once they get a silly offer. Peter hill wood etc etc seem like a distant memory…different days ahead.

Ade
Ade

You might be right there. There’d definitely be interest from some ‘UAE investment firm’ that would love to hold an Arsenal Football Club asset, and willing to pay an obscene amount of money to buy.

Which makes me wonder why they haven’t made a “buyout” offer to both parties separately- discussion for another day.

Ade
Ade

I would love to know the details of the offer- I’d be miffed if it was some kind of leveraged buyout a la Manchester United- however, knowing that Kroenke is vying for total ownership of the club, I wouldn’t be surprised if he put up the club as collateral got a loan for the acquisition.

Tim
Tim

What a predicament.

Usmanov = involvement in human rights abuses and widespread state-sponsored corruption
Kroenke = general dick, likely to take more money out of the club, no interest in trophies

Ozymandias
Ozymandias

They’re both have involvement in human rights abuses.

Most multi Billionaires do.

Tim
Tim

Sort of.

Usmanov’s record is worse by far.

Stevstar
Stevstar

Not to mention animal rights with is hunting channels

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

On the flipside, now its only him making the $$ from the club, he might be more interested in seeing the clubs stocks rise and the ebst way to do that is through sustained success.

Arsene will be shattered if the club continues to go backwards. It was never his dream thats for sure!

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner

sustained success or profitability does not equal to winning trophies.

we can finish 10th place every season and still be a cash cow for him.

His vision and our hope for Arsenal are entirely different.

Ayleym
Ayleym

As fans is there nothing we can do to stop this.?

Rectum Spectrum
Rectum Spectrum

Boycott the club in the short term. Ruin it. Then buy it in a fan buy-out. Obviously pie in the sky stuff.

Herb Kazzaz
Herb Kazzaz

No. There’s always the ‘FC United of Manchester’ option. But stopping? No.

Granit (e) hard!
Granit (e) hard!

FFFFACK!

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

It’s hard to tell how things will play out in the long run if Stan Kroenke gets full control of the club.

Like many on this site I’ve been underwhelmed by his running of the club so far. Kroenke’s ridiculous loyalty to Arsene Wenger was my main gripe with the Yank. And his refusal to put a penny of his own money into the club tells you everything you need to know about his ambition for sporting success. He seemed to be content with just top-four finishes.

But it looks like his son, Josh, will soon be the de facto head of Arsenal FC, and perhaps the young man will take a different view of things. The fact that JK has moved to London to be closer to his father’s investment may make a huge difference in the way the club is run. I’ve always believed that with the right investment and management Arsenal could be the biggest club in Britain. Perhaps Josh Kroenke will realise that too.

And, bear in mind, with Usmanov gone, and just one owner, it should be easier for a potential new owner to step in one day and buy the club. That would be nice.

mc1892
mc1892

I’m just envisaging Billy Bob Thornton’s son in the Entourage movie..

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

“with the right investment and management Arsenal could be the biggest club in Britain”. Totally agree. The problem is Josh Kroenke has a terrible track record of managing his father’s sports investments in the USA. Grated none have the potential Arsenal do, but by all accounts the Nuggets, Avalanche and Rapids have all gone backwards under his stewardship – not wining games, dwindling attendances and bad player trading. Perhaps he has learnt from his mistakes, but the fact that every team he has managed has seen a big downturn is worrying.

Lordgunner
Lordgunner

Nuggets and Colorado rapids
aren’t going backwards.they are small market team
Nuggets are actually good young team very fun to watch this day

renaissancerosicky
renaissancerosicky

Great, Dembele (and Vida?) should be a done deal now.
_sarcasm_

Sad Gooner
Sad Gooner

It’s like realising that the girl you love is actually a complete and utter dickhead. Time to say goodbye I think.

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

Here we go guys. No more cash reserves, no more financial transparancy, no more challenging for trophies, just a shiny new stadium in LA financed off the back of the profits of the 5th most valuble football club in the world.💔

Maxin In The Shade
Maxin In The Shade

Reports coming out that the offer has been accepted. From Mattias Karan:

Stan Kroenke has reached agreement with Alisher Usmanov on his buy-out of Arsenal. It’s not just an offer – Usmanov has accepted the terms of a takeover that values Arsenal at £1.8 bn.

Herb Kazzaz
Herb Kazzaz

Until the Ornmeister announces, it’s not happened.

ramgooner
ramgooner

This is the 21st century arsenal. No more ethics and values. The Arsenal I knew died with Wenger and ken friar. I’m not even from the UK but I could relate to Wenger’s philosophy.

It’s a new model now. It’s one with Sven, Raul and Josh kroenke. We are probably going to see some heavy investment in the short term and it may translate into success on the pitch. All this for what?

Kroenke will double the valuation and sell it to the next guy and then what? It takes one bad owner to destroy this club and we’ll never be able to recover from that.

Custodianship model is gone which means the owners are not fans of this club.

The romantic in me died a while back but I don’t blame the owners and their money. I blame fifa and Uefa.
I blame the weak ffp.
Neymar going for 200 million. Say what?
Football is not a team sport it’s now a volatile business. You have owners playing real life fantasy football.
I’m in my early twenties and I don’t want to be associated with millenials and Neymar fan boys but I guess they are the market now.

NarkiShadow
NarkiShadow

after posts like this I have no desire to watch football. At least on high level.

Thierry Walcott
Thierry Walcott

This!

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Real football in this country died back in 1992 when the Premier League was set up. The entire point of the PL was to concentrate the TV money into the hands of a small elite of clubs and their owners. And it didn’t help when the likes of Abramovtch and the City Arabs flooded the market with their money.

The days when football was the “working man’s game” are now long gone. I’ll always love watching the game but loathe the way in which money has ruined it.

NarkiShadow
NarkiShadow

How you can watch PL if you think in this way? It’s horrible to know of all this things, after this can believe in any conspiracy theories about corrupted referies, buyed dark-horse champions, betting companies what rule everything in the league.

ramgooner
ramgooner

@Fats
I’m not from UK. I’m not even from Europe.
Premier League was good for the UK economy. 90% of problems started after Chelsea and City acquisitions.

Chelsea, City and PSG have single handedly changed the way football works.

We were the only exception in top level sport for a while now. We were the only one who were fighting for what is right and resisting what is popular. Usmanov’s sale was inevitable.
We really lost our club when Dein, Fizman, Bracewell Smith and Co. decided to cash in but we still had people who carried our values.

If Gazidis leaves i’d say well done.

The real problem is FFP. UEFA don’t even see the problem. They will wake up when there is a European Super League.

That is when all the small clubs in Europe and UK will revolt.

allezkev
allezkev

I blame all the Arsenal directors, who sold out to Kroenke and Usmanov, we left Arsenal Football Club at Highbury, we’re now a rich mans toy (or rich woman – looking at you Lady Nina).

We’re now no different from Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and every other English football franchise that is owned by a billionaire egotist or oil rich Arab emirate.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

This is a fine post. Cheers.
I too, have lost most of the passion I had for football.
FIFA and UEFA destroyed the beautiful game.

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner

Are we the only football club where the billionaire owner not only does not contribute a single cent to the club but took money away from it?

In fact we supporters who pay for tickets and bought jerseys are the ones who put in more money to the club than him!

Only Flamini or Dangote can save us now 🙂

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

Glazers at Utd. Thing is they’re the biggest club in the world (who virtually print money), yet haven’t won or challenged for the league for 5 years themselves, finished below us 4 out of those 5 years, and failed to finish in the top 4 three of those seasons.

That’s the model we’re looking at but with far worse commercial revenue stream.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

It’s time to start the #Kroenkeout campaign

chuqu
chuqu

Just out of curiosity, is there anything the fans can do to stop this?

baz00r
baz00r

No

Public Elneny
Public Elneny

Well there is one way…

I’m not doing it though

Armourist
Armourist

David Dein, what a fine mess you’ve created here.

Belfast Gooner
Belfast Gooner

Modern Football! I watched my local team in East Belfast on Saturday. They play in a ground that has seen better days, and we stood on the terraces. Have to say, give me that over what the big clubs are now becoming. Soulless!!

Da Boss
Da Boss

Completely agree mate. I’ll never stop being an Arsenal supporter and fan, but I can drive 20 minutes down the road to watch MK Dons for £12 in a stadium that is actually very nice. The football is not a great standard, but it is good fun watching the younger generation who only know them as the MK Dons get excited. You can’t help but get involved. Plus I get to see Chuks Aneke. Living the dream.

Nabster
Nabster

There is no way on earth I’d ever give a penny of my money to Pete “Paedo” Winkelman and his Frankenstein’s monster of a horrible little franchised, soul-less tin-pot club – MK Dons.

I’d rather go watch a fan-owned club at whatever level, than see that abomination.

I hope you never have to justify that decision to an AFC Wimbledon fan after what they went through…

Herb Kazzaz
Herb Kazzaz

I hear you. It’s simply not the same as it was. Aware that I’m probably a nostalgic old fart, but my first season going to watch regularly, 18 years old, standing in the clock end, £8. It was the main reason I chose to come to University in London. It was the year the north bank was a mural. Singing, invariably pissed, the football was Georgie Graham stuff, so nothing special. Would I go back to the way it was? No Premier League billions? No ‘men-children’ sulking over earning 50K a week? In a fucking heartbeat.

Antony Charles

I feared this, wish we could do something to stop it – maybe if we make our own company, and every Arsenal fan in the world puts 100£ In it, we could afford to buy Usmanovs shares ..😥

Da Boss
Da Boss

Tried it with Arsenal FanShare mate. Got dissolved by Kroenke.

AndyL
AndyL

Go for it. You have until 3pm this afternoon.

Bentham Court Original
Bentham Court Original

I’d be up for that. Perhaps Svaborg could organise it?

oneblankspace
oneblankspace

At least he’s not going to move Arsenal to Los Angeles.

Rich
Rich

Now we’re fucked

AndyL
AndyL

One big plus in the story as reported by the BBC

Unlike the Glazers at Man Utd, Kroenke is using his own money (or money borrowed elsewhere) to buy the club. He is not loading the club with debt and so he is not using the club’s income to pay off the money he spent. The Glazers put all the borrowing onto the Utd balance sheet and so basically got it for free.

AndyL
AndyL

Trying again as my previous comment got stuck in moderation

Thanks for input from someone with actual knowledge of how this stuff works.
To repay the borrowing, would Kroenke have to take dividends? Would we see if he does this or would it be hidden?
Could he be using the borrowing simply as a way to reduce his overall tax bill?

AndyL
AndyL

Ha, so I tried to respond to Svaborg a second time, but did it in a hurry and ended up replying to myself. Now I look an even bigger twat than usual.

Svaborg
Svaborg

The really important part of Kroenke news: Kroenke will be … BORROWING £557m which he says will not be against the club. Assuming Kroenke can borrow at 5% this means about £30m interest per year. ‘Will not be against the club’ does not make much sense – this interest will need to be paid somehow. What this could mean unfortunately is £30m taken out of the club every year. A pretty big disadvantage vs. clubs with no debt. About one big signing less every year. Working in private equity so not talking out of my arse.

AndyL
AndyL

Thanks for this insight. Are you able to clarify a couple of things on this?

To repay his loan from the club’s income, would Kroenke have to take dividends, which he hasn’t so far? Will we be able to see if he is doing this or will it be hidden?
Could he be using the fact of the loan simply as a way to reduce his overall tax bill?

Hantal
Hantal

I suspect he’s borrowing against his other assets to fund this, then planning to use Arsenal’s wealth to build his new American stadium

ramgooner
ramgooner

I am assuming he has the cash to do it but he wouldn’t use it because borrowing has tax benefits? If that’s the case he wouldn’t be taking it out of the club.

This is how i see it.
1. He wants to invest in the squad in the short term and be up there with the elite clubs.
2. The idea is to increase the valuation of the club and cash out after a few years.
3.He didn’t invest in the squad because Usmanov was there. Why should the benefits of any of Kroenke’s actions accrue to Usmanov? Now that he is gone Kroenke can do whatever he wants strategically.

Kroenke taking over can be a good thing after all for success on the pitch but i think the fact that we are moving away from custodianship and transparency is like taking pride away from the club. The core values of the club are gone.

We are not the club that small clubs look upto anymore. We were people’s club and that identity is changing.

Hobart
Hobart

Once he owns us outright there is nothing to stop him flipping the debt across to us.

Sad days

Topgunner14
Topgunner14

This is the correct way of understanding the deal. Stan couldn’t mortgage Arsenal for the loan initially because it would mean the need for more transparency before the deal conclusion and potentially current stockholders vote, etc. Also, he likely has some structural issues from the previous purchase that make it favorable to first acquire the Usmanov holdings and then setup his long term holding structure. I have to see the offering and if it’s disclosed, but most likely it’s short term financing from some hedge funds that they will rollover within a few months.

Once he has 100% ownership of Arsenal in KSE, they can now do reorganization to long term debt on the club, and do it in a way that has them getting a lot of cash out of the club. Part of this includes paying out original stadium loan and getting rid of its debt covenants and their cash reserve requirements when Arsenal was small fry and dictated to by the banks. That could mean £90-100million of atm cash there for the current purchase. Wouldn’t surprise that by end of 2019, Arsenal UK company or some other financing SPV will have £1bio+ of debt secured by all of the club assets including the stadium, training ground, tv rights, and the other undeveloped properties.

It should be no different from Glazer setup otherwise Kroenke and his people would be terrible business owners. This is the truth, it’s a business for them and everyone in their employ is working. Stan can use the refinancing to achieve the most efficient capital structure for his sports ventures including the stadium build in LA. He will have an enviable portfolio with full ownership of some crazy real estate and infrastructure. Get ready for Arsenal tours in LA during the summer and winter breaks.

For my fellow Gooners, Stan can never own the spirit of Arsenal Football club, that is fractionally owned by each fan who cheers on whatever players go out there representing the Gunners. Arsenal football club Plc can go bankrupt but Arsenal Football Club will always exist if us the fans exist. Stan is going to need us now more than ever, you cannot monetize a club with no fans.

Runcorn Gooner
Runcorn Gooner

It’s just like the last USA election. Trump or Clinton ? Absolute no win situation.

Jasmeet
Jasmeet

Well, we had a good run. 132 years ain’t half bad.

HansRott
HansRott

In the statement to the Stock Exchange …

The statement added: “KSE’s ambitions for the club are to see it competing consistently to win the Premier League and the Champions League, as well as the major trophies in the women’s senior game and at youth level.”

Really? I mean fucking really?

Either this is the standard meaningless blather consistent with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment’s philosophy of stagnation & decline or it represents a sea change in business modelling aiming to increase Arsenal’s market value by recognising the de facto relationship between trophy success and commercial proficiency.

Again, I say fucking really.

Gunnerjoe
Gunnerjoe

Bloody hell!

Rarsenalh
Rarsenalh

Now Gazidis will attribute this to why he’s leaving, avoiding the fact he’s a massive bottle job. Can’t help but think this is why that announcement has been delayed. Bit too hot for you under that spotlight hey Ivan!

Uhtred
Uhtred

No more annual AGM

Pete
Pete

Never forget, the fans are always in control. Boycott the club and create a disgusting atmosphere that is terrible for sponsors, and Kroenke will thrown in the towel within 12 months.

Unfortunately, Arsenal fans have shown themselves to be fucking pussies in allowing Wenger to run riot and cling to power, and not making the board accountable. But notice how the apathy led to empty seats, which soon changed their mind on him.

NarkiShadow
NarkiShadow

i see only darkness before me

PaulH
PaulH

Funny this comes in preseason after season ticket renewals.

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

Bye bye arsenal…

Runcorn Gooner
Runcorn Gooner

BBC showing photo of Kroenke shaking hands with Ozil after FA Cup final win. All it needed was a balloon quote from Kroenke saying “And your name is?”

Looks like I will be watching more local football unless something miraculous happens.

MrBure

If this bid leads to Piers Morgan having to sell his lone Arsenal share, I’m all for it. Go Stan!

Daft Aider
Daft Aider

oh scheiße…..

Thomas B
Thomas B

I hate this😒 can’t see anything positive coming out of this deal🤔

high gooner
high gooner

FUCK KROENKE

marhabr
marhabr

I’m coming from Trinidad with my pitchfork. Who’s with me?

Vonnie
Vonnie

There’s no love lost between those two and Usmanov is extremely wealthy and I do believe cares about the actual football, perhaps he’ll say no. He’s entitled to sell his shares to whoever he wants, I know it’s a tricky situation because anyone who buys that bundle of shares won’t have any say, and Usmanov has clearly had enough and wants to invest elsewhere (probably Everton), but maybe he sells his shares to a lot of people, instead of all to Kronke. There must be people out there who could afford a few shares? Lots of new shareholders would help to ensure some sort of safeguard, surely.