Russian billionaire Usmanov reportedly readying sale of stake in Arsenal soccer club

  • The Russian Alisher Usmanov owns a 30 percent stake in Arsenal as well as shares in Spotify & Airbnb.
  • Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke failed in $690 million bid to buy out the Russian in October 2017.
  • Usmanov had previously made a $1.3 billion offer to buy out the American.

Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov is exploring the possibility of a sale of his 30 percent stake in English Premier League (EPL) side Arsenal, according to a report in the Financial Times that cites sources close to the billionaire.

The Russian is said to have grown frustrated that the club’s American owner, Stan Kroenke, is unwilling to engage in takeover talks and has given up all hope of acquiring the club outright.

Despite being one of the top five richest men in Russia and the U.K., Usmanov has previously been unsuccessful in his attempts to increase his share of the club. Early in 2017, he made a $1.3 billion offer to buy out Kroenke, but KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) U.K. Inc said its shares in the Premier League club were not for sale.

Usmanov has previously gone on record to say he is willing to sell his stake to anybody other than Kroenke, thus intensifying their fractured relationship and lack of shared vision.

However, Uzbekistan-born Usmanov’s position within Arsenal is made tougher by not having a seat on the board, so any prospective buyer could face similar issues with Kroenke.

Usmanov, who also has shares in Spotify and Airbnb, has been invested in Arsenal since 2007, when he and Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri bought a 14.6 percent stake in the north London club.

Click here for more on the power struggle within one of England’s top soccer clubs.

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