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Dein Leads New Arsenal Takeover Bid
Independent, August 31st, 2007 3:30PM

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English giant Arsenal, the club that famously said it would not be bought, is starting to look like a prime target for a takeover, says the Independent's Sam Wallace. Earlier this week, the club's former vice chairman, David Dein, sold his 14.58 percent stake in the club to an investment group in return for being placed in charge of its efforts to takeover the club. Indeed, Red and White Holdings, as the group is called, has been formulated for the sole purpose of accruing more Arsenal shares. Dein is its chairman, while Alisher Usmanov, the 142nd richest man in the world, according to Forbes, and Farhad Moshiri, an Iranian fund manager, are its primary investors.

What does this say about American billionaire Stan Kroenke's involvement in the club? Kroenke owns a 12.19 percent stake in Arsenal, and many thought Dein would sell to the American. However, Wallace says it's not impossible that the two sides, which are working separately at the moment, could launch a joint bid to takeover the club. Currently, the Arsenal board controls the club with a combined 45.45 stake. Wallace says Danny Fiszman, with a 21.1 percent stake, is now the club's key shareholder, although he and the rest of the board made a pact not to sell their shares until April.

Dein sold his 14.58 percent stake to Red and White Holdings for $150 million, a significant haul considering he purchased a 16.6 percent stake for nearly $600K in 1983. Dein left Arsenal's board in April because other board members did not support the idea of foreign investment.

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