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Usmanov challenges Kroenke and increases Arsenal shareholding

Russia-based Alisher Usmanov's Red & White Holdings group have increased their stake in Arsenal to 26.07%. American Stan Kroenke, however, remains the largest individual shareholder in the Gunners, last month moving a small step closer to the takeover threshold when buying another 10 shares to move to 29.9%.

Under the strict financial rules of the City, were anyone to cross the 29.99% takeover threshold, they he would be obliged to make a formal offer for the remainder of the shares at the highest price paid for stock during the past 12 months.

It has been suggested the continued investment by Kroenke - who is already an Arsenal director - is designed to fend off possible aggressive moves by Usmanov.

Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, who left the board during December last year, could well hold the balance of power with her family's 15.9% stake - which if sold to either Kroenke or Usmanov would push them well past the takeover threshold.

While, as one of the largest shareholders in the club, Arsenal continue to have positive dialogue with Red & White Holdings, earlier this year the board turned down Usmanov's proposed rights issue to generate new cash, in favour of the status quo which sees the Emirates Stadium club remain self-financing.

 Click here for more Arsenal news and comment from Arsene Wenger



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