Russian billionaire Usmanov to relinquish his Arsenal stake: Report

Alisher Usmanov

Russian billionaire and business magnate Alisher Usmanov is looking for prospects to sell his 30% stake in Premier League club Arsenal. The move will see the American entrepreneur and sports tycoon Stan Kroenke continue to be the largest shareholder on the Arsenal board with 67.05% stakes

The Financial Times, citing two sources familiar with Usmanov’s potential move, said the 64-year-old, who is also president of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), has grown tired of ongoing efforts to broker a takeover deal with Stan Kroenke.

Usmanov has reportedly said that he has little chance of securing Kroenke’s 67 per cent stake in Arsenal. Usmanov’s 30.4 per cent holding means he has little active say in the running of the North London club due to not holding a seat on the board.

A source told the Financial Times that Usmanov’s thinking is that the “logical buyer” for his stake would be Kroenke, a notion he has previously refused to entertain. Usmanov had refused an offer of $694m from Kroenke in October, last year, which the Russian had rejected.

Kroenke’s Kroenke Sports & Entertainment business portfolio also includes ownership of NFL team the Los Angeles Rams, NBA franchisee Denver Nuggets, NHL side Colorado Avalanche and MLS franchise Colorado Rapids.

The relationship between the duo remained hostile since they bought into Arsenal in 2007 as each have made moves to attempt to secure control of the club. Indeed, Kroenke was in May 2017 forced to insist that his stake in the club was not for sale after Usmanov proposed a buy-out.