Kroenke has ‘no intention’ of selling Arsenal stake despite bid reports
• Middle East consortium reveals plans for £1.5bn takeover
• American is 'in it for the long term' say sources close to board
• Arsenal have received no contact from potential bidders
Arsenal have received no contact over a potential takeover and the majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, would have no intention of selling his controlling stake, Press Association Sport understands.
Reports have suggested that a Middle East consortium are preparing a £1.5billion bid to buy out the Premier League club at around £20,000 a share.
A bid source, talking to the Sunday Telegraph, said the proposal involved making a cash offer for all 62,217 shares, the bulk of which are currently held by Kroenke, and Alisher Usmanov, who has a 29.96% stake.
However, sources close to the Arsenal board on Sunday morning maintained there had been no approach, informal or otherwise, to the American owner.
Kroenke would reportedly be offered around £830m for his 66.83% shareholding. Though sources close to the board said he remains "in it for the long term" should he receive an offer of that magnitude the American, who pushed through his £430million-plus takeover in April 2011, would be looking at the prospect of an approximate £400m profit.
The bid source told the paper: "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 source said the group had identified the detached approach of Kroenke and his son Josh as the reason for the club's inability to step up to the next level. "The biggest problem with Arsenal is that it has no owner, no face and there is no one to report to. The management of the club at every level is not put under scrutiny and does not have to report to anyone."
Arsenal, who have not won a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup, visit their north London rivals Tottenham on Sunday afternoon looking to boost their hopes of finishing in the top four, and securing Champions League qualification once again.
Filed under: Euro 2012
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