Kroenke and Hill-Wood

The following e-mail which most of you will have seen was sent to members this morning:

“I wanted you to know that that an offer has been made by KSE, UK, INC. (“KSE”), a company wholly owned by Mr Kroenke, to buy Arsenal Holdings PLC. The Independent Directors of Arsenal are recommending that shareholders accept the Offer.

KSE is proposing to continue to run the club along the existing self-sustaining business model and has invited the Board to remain in place. This includes myself as Chairman. Mr Kroenke is also fully supportive of Arsène Wenger whom he has stated is a wonderful manager

Full details of the offer announcement can be found by clicking here. Please understand this is a formal legal document so is complex. We will update you as we can in line with Takeover Rules.

Yours Sincerely,

Peter Hill-Wood

I won’t copy and paste from the information in the link to because there is a disclaimer to click on but you can go there and get the information yourself. Any other websites, blogs etc. are unlikely to do anything other than regurgitate what is in that article (or in the case of the metro completely twist Kroenke’s words and somehow get the headline ‘Stan Kroenke’s Arsenal takeover to give Arsene Wenger £60m warchest’). For this blog I wanted to just deal with facts so below are some quotes on the takeover. Firstly there are some quotes from those involved in the take over and then there are some quotes from fans on the Goonersworld forum.

BBC Sport

“We are excited about the opportunity to increase our involvement with and commitment to Arsenal. Arsenal are a fantastic club with a special history and tradition and a wonderful manager in Arsene Wenger. We intend to build on this rich heritage and take the club to new success. I am delighted that Peter Hill-Wood has agreed to support us by continuing as chairman. We especially wish to acknowledge and thank the board, Danny Fiszman and the Fiszman family as well as Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith and her family for the confidence they have had in me over the past years and in allowing us to move forward in this more prominent role.” Stan Kroenke

“I have worked with Stan Kroenke at board meetings over the past couple of years and I believe he has the best interests of Arsenal at heart. He understands the club’s heritage and traditions and our ambition to run the club in a way which protects our long-term future.” Arsene Wenger

“KSE is proposing to continue to run the club along the existing self-sustaining business model and has invited the Board to remain in place. This includes myself as Chairman. Mr Kroenke is also fully supportive of Arsène Wenger whom he has stated is a wonderful manager.” Peter Hill-Wood

ESPN Sport

“AST thinks it is really important that supporters remain involved in Arsenal’s ownership structure. Stan Kroenke has a good relationship with the AST and recently supported our fanshare scheme. We are hopeful of having discussions with him to discuss how our members and Arsenal supporters can keep their shares in Arsenal Football Club.” Arsenal Supporters Trust

Telegraph Sport

“This marks the end of an era for our family’s association with Arsenal Cf and we are proud to have had such a long history with one of the world’s greatest clubs. I am confident of Arsenal’s continued success both on and off the pitch and believe that Stan Kroenke will continue to develop the club in a manner true to its heritage for the players and the fans. We wish the club, the directors and the supporters every success in the future. At the end of the day, our family will always be gooners.” Lady Bracewell-Smith

This is London

“We have no comment to make. We are considering our position in light of this news.” Red and White Holdings (Usmanov’s company)

Goonersworld Logo

The following selection of quotes come from the Goonersworld thread for discussing the takeover. There are more comments in the thread as well as some excellent links to more information and other blogs about Kroenke, Usmanov, the takeover and rumours about David Dein possibly returning – the thread and links are really worth reading.

Goonersworld Forum – Thread to discuss the takeover

“This is a good thing imo. We’ve been courting him for ages now so the current board know him inside out and trust him.” Hypogooner

“For me the main factor is he already owns 3 other sports teams so i am not sure as to whether i am all for his take over.” Bristol Gooner

“we’ve seen what happened to Liverpool and what is currently happening to United” Thereisbearcum

“I like how 2 examples turns into ‘most Americans’… Conveniently ignoring the new Liverpool owners and Learner at Villa. And debt, if used responsibly is not a bad thing. If you can use the money from the loan to grow the business at a higher rate than you interest rate, then it is a very good thing. It allows you to leverage your growth and grow faster than you would without it. I honestly feel that this is going to be a good move for the on field product. And many will look back and realize their fears were unfounded.” Leody

“Better than Usmanov in fairness” Shamrock11

“Don’t see the need for big changes at board level! Really don’t for all i care he can pay off the rest for the stadium and well, just do nothing” elkanofan

“These American bringing debt to clubs is very generalising and degrading and it needs to stop, especially when you see the types of people who bought those clubs. I think you really need to do your homework on Usmanov and his past and Kroenke and his. You do also realise that Chelsea OWE Abramovic nearly £700m, or did you not know that? He gave his own club and business a loan, yes, lets do that.” GunnGunn

“I don’t want any single man in charge but to be honest I’d take Kroenke over Usmanov. Kroenke has a history of owning sports teams at least. He owns an MLS team and therefore obviously knows he is not going to make billions, plus does anyone really believe he hasn’t done his homework? or hasn’t paid attention to whats gone on at the mancs and scousers?” Fabrestuta

“If he has a longterm interest and the deal is done without involving debt, i’d be alot more comfortable with any take over. Regardless, its been shaping up for a while now and i cant really see any other money than foreign money coming in for us, so Kroenke might be the best of a bad bunch. If he buys in cash, clears our outstanding debt and provides a transfer kitty? Hmmm, i could just be swept off my feet. Doubt that will happen though.” Zedie

“You guys really think Silent Stan will spend around £900m of his own cash to buy us out and clear the remaining debt? As pointed out already he’s not worth much more than that. No chance it will happen without leverage debt. And you forget he’ll take out as much as he likes per annum to pay himself back – as much or more than our current repayments. Yeah, wooo. I hope the fat Uzbek sits on his shares.” Cynical Gooner

“It wont cost £900 million to buy the club out, he owns 30% already and is spending £224 million CASH to buy another 32%, as he is over 50% he now has CONTROL of the club, Usmanov wont sell up, but if he did and Kroenke took full control, it would only cost him another £260 million to do so. All the major media BBC, Telegraph, Times etc are all saying its a CASH purchase.

The club is worth about £700 million in share value, of which Kroenke owns 62% paid in CASH, leaving about £266 million worth of shares available, of which Usmanov owns about £189 millions worth.

The remaining £200 million from the £900 million, is the clubs debts, by law you have to clear the debts prior to a full 100% takeover, but as you said, Usmanov will sit on his shares so that wont happen.

I dont see how Kroenke will be leveraging any debt on the club, also Kroenke is worth £2 billion and his wife is worth £2 billion, I am sure a few hundred million cash is well within his reach

Apparently, the reason for the sale is that Fiszmans health has deteriorated and he wanted a quick sale of his shares, so the money goes to a fund as his family do not want to inherit the shareholding.” Goose

“Kroenke = no change in how we operate (but is that more Wenger than board anyway?) So anyone unhappy with how Arsenal is ran now will not be in favor of this. Kroenke fields perpetually competitive teams – he knows that is what it takes to be successful as a club. He likes to win championships as well, but will not chase them with excessive spending. Sounds like Arsenal to me, and he doesn’t even have ownership yet.” Golfinguy

Keeping with the self sustaining model 😦 Not bought using debt 🙂 Plymouth Gooner

“I’m no expert but it looks to me like this whole exercise was arranged just to keep Usmanov out.
It seems like it was never about clearing debt or anything else.” Inchpractice

“Sad times, of the top teams we were the last remaining club that was English owned, PRIDE has been hurt.” She-Gunner-Wales

“Its good to hear that he wont be landing debt on Arsenal, but I would like to know how he will be funding his purchase? Is it a straight cash purchase e.t.c.” Proud Gooner

“So unless Stan is taking the Limitless pill… he’s basically gonna change f all and it’ll be same again especially with Dead-Wood still in charge.” IMF