Arsenal Share Update: Usmanov Closing In On 30%

Just a brief post this morning. Arsenal.com yesterday updated the published share position for the two major shareholders to show that Alisher Usmanov’s Red & White Holdings now have a total of 18,637 shares. This is ten more than they had last time the figure was updated on 5 December, and leaves them exactly 29 short of the 18,666 needed for 30 per cent of Arsenal. At the same time, there have been no public trades on the ISDX exchange for this period, so Mr U is continuing to buy by writing direct to shareholders and negotiating with them as individuals. (To be completely honest, there was one single share trade listed on ISDX earlier this week, which has now been removed from their website again. They’ve told me before that sometimes there’s a hitch in the paperwork and they have to take the trade back off, but they usually sort things out and they reappear within a couple of days.)

I’ve written about all this before, so I won’t go into it at length, but if you’re wondering what the share totals mean, here’s the summary:

  • Normally anyone reaching a 30 per cent shareholding in a company triggers a compulsory full takeover bid – as it did for Stan Kroenke with Arsenal in 2011
  • In this case, as there is already a majority shareholder – Stan – this ‘rule’ will not be enforced by the Takeover Panel (Takeover Panel ‘rules’ are very broad and the Panel can basically decide whatever it thinks is fair in the individual situation)
  • In fact Alisher Usmanov can make a bid any time he wants to anyway, and for all I know phones Stan every week with a bid that Stan rejects
  • Up until last summer there was a Premier League rule that implied that anyone holding 30 per cent of a club was deemed an ‘owner’, and owners have to certify all large financial transactions; thus if you had 30 per cent you needed access to all the financial information in order to comply
  • The Premier League changed this rule in the summer to make it clear that if there is a majority shareholder then no one else needs to be an ‘owner’, so Mr Usmanov seems most unlikely to get access to anything if and when he reaches 30 per cent
  • Nonetheless he has continued to buy shares since the summer, and seems certain to reach 30 per cent very shortly (rumours abound that he has had sufficient shares lined up for some months and is just waiting  for the right moment to put them into his name and announce he now has 30 per cent
  • The benefit of reaching 30 per cent, given Takeover Panel decisions and PL rule changes, seems purely symbolic – unless Mr Usmanov has something up his sleeve; I strongly suspect that we will find out in January
  • What happens next might depend on Arsène Wenger – if he makes major signings in January and everything looks rosy, then Mr Usmanov might stay quiet; if nothing happens Mr Usmanov may feel the time is right to try and apply pressure. What can he do? In legal terms not a lot on the face of it – Stan has all the cards. But Mr Usmanov has continued to buy shares for a reason. Maybe when he reaches his 30 per cent target, we’ll find out exactly what the reason is.

If you’re new here, I’ve done various Usmanov/share posts before, so if you search for ‘angryofislington Usmanov Q&A’ you’ll find most or all of them pretty easily.

Follow me on Twitter: @AngryOfN5

7 thoughts on “Arsenal Share Update: Usmanov Closing In On 30%

  1. Maybe some shareholders can sell to Usmanov their shares. Looking currently at that *** kronik-e owner, what has he really done to show ambition for the club…?

  2. Pingback: Usmanov buys more Arsenal shares. Is a planning a January coup | Brandish

  3. As you say Stanley holds all the cards. He comes from the dogged head-down Walmart School of Business Practise; don’t give way no matter who hates you. Nor does he appear to be in it for a short-term profit; I guess he views AFC as a family heirloom. Heaven help us!

  4. Even if Usmanov manages to buy all the shares Kroenke doesn’t own (33.17%) Kroenke will still hold a little over twice as many shares as Usmanov. There is absolutely nothing Usmanov can do. As he doesn’t have a controlling shareholding, as Lady Nina found, there will be only one buyer. Kroenke on the other hand can sell control of the business if he ever wanted to and find willing buyers other than Usmanov. As it happens Kroenke appears to be a long term investor. Usmanov has already lost. He’ll stick around for a few years and end up selling to Kroenke at break even at best.

    • Usmanov can still make Kroenke an offer he can’t refuse. Guys got too much money. Estimated worth 18bn. Last i heard was that Kroenke would be willing to sell if he was offered £17k per share however Usmanov is not willing to pay that much because i think he’s got pride and doesn’t want to get mugged off by someone who can’t even come near him in terms of wealth. Highest he’ll pay is £14k per share i think. But either way i guess we’ll find our more in January. If Kroenke could make £400m profit in 1 year of his investment, i think he would run and sell to Usmanov.

  5. the fans should be a lot more vocal in wanting Kronke and Gazides out ..every time me an my brothers vet our anger at the Board an Wenger all we get is ‘ you should support your club and get behind them’. My passion for the club isn’t the same as the board unfortunately the Emirates stadium has created a new breed of season ticket holders who i dont care for much and these are the very same people who like Kronke got no idea what’s it like to be an Arsenal supporter

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