From today’s on-line Guardian….I am not sure on how this may play out…the fragmentation of the stockholders and their antipathy for each other may make this easy for Kroenke.
Kroenke cranks ups his ante in Arsenal
Friday April 13, 2007
The uncertainty surrounding Arsenal’s long-term future deepened yesterday with confirmation that the American billionaire Stanley Kroenke has increased his stake in the club to 11.26%. Kroenke, owner of five sports franchises including the Colorado Rapids MLS side, purchased a 9.9% share from ITV before Easter for a total of £65m that included a 50% stake in Arsenal Broadband Ltd. It is believed that the additional shares were bought from Danny Fiszman, who as the club’s largest shareholder holds the key to any takeover. Fiszman sold 659 shares, around 1% of his 25% holding, for £4m last month and until now it was unclear whether Kroenke was the buyer. The move is significant because it is unlikely that diamond dealer Fiszman, who also sold his Hampstead home for £20m recently, would have sold were he unaware of Kroenke’s intentions.
Paul Andrews, executive vice-president of Kroenke Sports Entertainment, declined to comment on the tycoon’s next move but he praised the work of Arsenal’s managing director Keith Edelman, who was in Colorado at the weekend as part of a marketing tie-up between the Gunners and the Rapids.
Arsenal’s diffuse shareholding means that Kroenke can pick off shareholders, with Lady Nina Bracewell Smith (16%) a potential target. David Dein (13%) will also be watching closely. Dein is working on a five-year plan with Arsène Wenger and the next few weeks could determine if he is in a position to implement it.