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Kroenke Still Intends to Take over Arsenal
Independent, July 23rd, 2007 2:30PM

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Colorado Rapids owner Stan Kroenke looks to be on a mission to add more Arsenal shares to his 12.2 percent total, according to the Independent. After a meeting with Danny Fiszman, the English Premier League club's largest shareholder, the American billionaire is attempting to join forces to mount a full takeover. The report says the cooperation of Fiszman, who owns 24.11 percent, is the key to Kroenke taking over the club without the bid becoming hostile. Fiszman, however, has already made an agreement with the rest of Arsenal's large shareholders (excluding former vice-chairman David Dein) to resist giving in to a hostile takeover from a third party.

Complicating matters is Kroenke's relationship with Dein, who was originally ousted because he favored a potential takeover by Kroenke. As part of their deal, the former board member would sell his 14.6 percent share to the American in exchange for returning to the club's management. Fiszman and Dein do not get along, however, but should Kroenke prevail, he would obtain 51 percent of Arsenal's shares. With the purchase of another 12 percent belonging to hedge funds and other companies, Kroenke would be in a position to take over the club.

None of this will happen anytime soon, however, as the Americans don't wish for a hostile takeover and Fiszman has indicated no willingness to sell-yet. Meanwhile, Formula One billionaire Bernie Ecclestone last week said he would not rule out the possibility of bidding against Kroenke to take over the Gunners. Ecclestone has a closer relationship to Dein -- Ecclestone's daughter dates Dein's son -- but claims he has made no contact with anybody at Arsenal about the matter.

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