Kroenke billed as 'model owner'
Ivan Gazidis says Stan Kroenke is a 'model owner' after the American billionaire increased his stake.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 31/03/09 11:52am
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has labelled Stan Kroenke as a 'model owner' after the American billionaire increased his stake in the club.
On Monday, it was announced that Kroenke had bought another eight per cent of the club's shares for £42.5million from fellow board member Danny Fiszman, taking his holding to 20.5 per cent.
Kroenke is now the second-highest shareholder, with Red and White Holdings Limited, an investment vehicle co-owned by Uzbekistan metals magnate Alisher Usmanov and fronted by former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, owning 25 per cent.
Red and White Holdings is within five per cent of the minimum 30 per cent stake that would allow them to launch a formal takeover bid under Stock Exchange rules.
But Usmanov's stance is said to be looked upon unfavourably by the board, and a 'lockdown agreement' is in place designed to help prevent a takeover of the club, whereby directors can only sell to "permitted persons" before April 2009 and must give fellow board members first option until October 2012.
It now seems that the destination of Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith's 15.9 per cent of the club looks significant, should she decide to sell after being voted off the board last December.
Gazidis said: "We don't know what Lady Nina's intentions are with her shares but, certainly, if she were to say she was a seller of those shares, I'm sure there would be interest from among the current board."
He added on the club's official website: "Stan really is a model owner. I think the fact that Danny has felt comfortable selling his shares to Stan speaks volumes."