Usmanov increases stake
Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has purchased more shares in Arsenal by raising his stake by 2 per cent to 23 per cent.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 28/09/07 10:18am
Red and White Holdings Limited, an investment vehicle co-owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, has purchased more shares in Arsenal by raising its stake by 2 per cent to 23 per cent.
The purchase, which was announced to the Stock Exchange on Friday morning, sees Usmanov just one per cent away form the club's highest shareholder Danny Fiszman, who has 24 per cent.
A statement read: "Red and White Holdings Limited ('Red & White') today announces, in accordance with its intentions stated on the 30th August, that it has increased its shareholding and now holds a 23 per cent stake in Arsenal Holdings plc ('Arsenal')."
Should Usmanov reach a 29.9 per cent stake holding in the club then he would be in a position to make a takeover offer.
On Wednesday, Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood voiced his strong opposition against Usmanov becoming the owner of the club.
Should Usmanov continue his march with his increasing his stake, he is likely to face fierce opposition from the current members of the Arsenal board, possibly leading to a volatile takeover situation.
In response, a section of Arsenal fans has now begun signing an official government petition to enforce a more rigorous 'fit and proper person' criteria for owners of football clubs.