Premier League - Arsenal: No £1.5bn takeover bid, Kroenke committed to club

Arsenal have said there has been no approach from potential bidders and that majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has no plans to sell up.

Premier League - Arsenal: No £1.5bn takeover bid, Kroenke committed to club

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The club was responding to a Sunday Telegraph report that a Middle East consortium planned a £1.5 billion bid and had requested a meeting with American Kroenke.

"Stan Kroenke is committed to Arsenal for the long term and has no intention of selling his stake," Arsenal communications director Mark Gonnella told Reuters.

"There has been no contact from any potential investors," he added.

Such a bid would be almost double the current record price paid for a football club which currently stands at the £800m paid by the Glazers for Manchester United.

According to the Telegraph the funds would come from both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The group would first look to purchase Kroenke's 66.64 per cent share in the club for around £830m which would net the American a profit of £350m.

The same offer – around £20,000 a share – would be offered to other shareholders including Uzbek oligarch Alisher Usmanov, who holds a 29.11 per cent stake.

The paper said that, crucially, the investment group would be willing to work with Usmanov if he decides against selling his stake.

The report read: "A meeting has already been requested with (Kroenke) to discuss the proposed offer. The seriousness of the bid is reinforced by the recent successful takeovers of Manchester City and Paris St-Germain by Middle East backers.

"Any takeover would inevitably raise questions over the future of manager Arsene Wenger, although the Frenchman is understood to be highly-regarded by the consortium. They do not want to lose his football knowledge and want him to remain at the club."

The Telegraph said the bid would wipe out club debts which stand at around £250m and that "there would be substantial transfer funds made available to transform the club into a major force in European and world football…and there would also be a pledge to reduce ticket prices at the Emirates Stadium — currently among the highest in the world — as well as an attempt to recreate 'some of the feel of the old North Bank' at Highbury".

A bid source told the Telegraph: "Arsenal is at a pivotal position at the moment. The fear is that the club is facing a cycle of decline like Liverpool. From our point of view it is the perfect moment to make this bid because at this moment in time you can still genuinely justify this extraordinary valuation on the club.

"We will not bid for Arsenal if they go into decline. Kroenke and Usmanov will not get this kind of valuation if Arsenal do not succeed and will not get this kind of valuation ever again.

"We think that bidding now is the key because it is going to give every shareholder maximum value. We are giving them peak valuation.

“The amount of capital required to pump into Arsenal to make it competitive within England, Europe and the world means that the valuation cannot go any higher.”

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