Usmanov ups Gunners stake
Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has increased his shareholding in Arsenal to over 25 per cent.
Last Updated: 16/02/09 4:29pm
Red and White Holdings Limited have increased their shareholding in Arsenal to over 25 per cent.
The company is owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov and his business associate Farhad Moshiri, a London-based investor.
The latest purchase takes Red and White to within five per cent of the minimum 30 per cent stake that would require them to launch a formal takeover bid under Stock Exchange rules.
In a statement, Red and White said the increase in their shareholding was "in line with Red and White's previously stated intention to secure a significant shareholding in Arsenal and ensure that its position is protected".
The statement added: "We are pleased to have now secured over a quarter of the shares of Arsenal.
"We are committed long-term investors and supporters of the club and are comfortable that we are now in a protected position.
"We also welcome the strengthening of the squad and look forward to a successful conclusion to the season."
Red and White was formed in August 2007 following the initial sale of former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein's 14.5 per cent stake in the club.
Usmanov then increased his shareholding to 23 per cent two months later, before upping his stake to just over 24 per cent in February 2008.
Other members of the Arsenal board currently have a lock-down agreement in place which is designed to help prevent Usmanov from being able to launch a takeover of the club.