Stan Koenke just bought up 427 more shares. His holding increases to 29.6%, less than a percentage point from the automatic trigger for a full offer for the club.
No knowing if the Denver Nuggets owner is planning a bid. But he still owes £50m for the shares that he bought from Danny Fiszman and the Carr family. The consensus is that it will take him a while, maybe years to pay them off.
Kroenke's personal worth has increased to presently over £2.2b from £1b in 2005 even as the recession has stalled his real estate ventures. He is also mentioned as the frontrunner in the St Louis Rams buyout where he already owns 40% of the stake. However he might have to give up ownership of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and Colorado Rapids as the NFL does not allow cross ownership of other sporting franchises.
I think he has solid business acumen but where does Arsenal fit into Kroenke's frenetic buying out of sporting franchises?
He took over the co-ownership of the St Louis Rams in 1995 and the team enjoyed their best year in 1999 when they won the Super Bowl with Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk. They have been in steep decline since then. The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in 2001. They have not repeated that success. The Nuggets and the Rapids are perennial doormats in the NBA and the MLS. The Rapids after his 2004 takeover from Phillip Anschutz have missed the playoffs three times in succession and attendances have plummeted.
The indifferent record of his sports teams cannot all be blamed on one man but there appears to be a pattern of benign neglect after he buys a team.
The Arsenal Supporters Trust issued a statement.
"The AST has repeatedly stated that we are generally opposed to a takeover and would fight any plans that require the club to incur debt to pay for a takeover as has happened at Manchester United and Liverpool.
"Two red lines that cannot be crossed are the use of debt secured on the club's assets to fund a takeover and an ownership structure which excludes small shareholders.
"The AST's own assessment of today's development is that a takeover is not imminent and that today's purchase is the consolidation of an existing position."
Update: My bad. The Nuggets have done very well in recent seasons after years in the wilderness. They made it to the Western Conference finals last year losing to the Lakers. Obviously Kroenke has spent money on them as Brian points out. But his record with sporting franchises remains mixed. The obvious disappointment remains the Colorado Rapids whose performance remains underwhelming even with their extensive tie ups with Arsenal and Pachuca. . . .