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Russian billionaire buys David Dein's stake in Arsenal

Russian billionaire buys David Dein's stake in Arsenal

Former Arsenal chairman David Dein has sold his 14.58 percent stake in Arsenal to a consortium led by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov.
Red and White Holdings Ltd. said in a statement Thursday that it had paid 75 million pounds (US$151.1 million; euro110.7 million) for the stake and appointed Dein as the company's chairman.
Red and White said it had "committed funds" to enable it to increase its stake in Arsenal.
"However, Red and White confirms that it has no current intention to make a takeover offer for Arsenal or to acquire a shareholding in Arsenal which would trigger an obligation to make a takeover offer for Arsenal," the statement said.
Arsenal managing director Keith Edelman was not concerned.
"David's free to do what he wants to do," Edelman said at the Champions League group stage draw in Monte Carlo, Monaco. "Clearly it's not a change in shareholding structure."
Edelman said Arsenal didn't need outside investment _ something Dein disagrees with.
"Without new investors, I feel very soon Arsenal might not be able to compete successfully at the very top level, despite the fantastic work of (manager) Arsene Wenger," Dein said.
Red and White is an investment company established specifically to hold equity interests in Arsenal. It is co-owned by Usmanov and long time business associate Farhad Moshiri, a London-based investor.
Usmanov is involved in mining, telecoms and natural gas in Russia and was ranked 278th in Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest people in 2006.
Dein will develop proposals to support the future success of Arsenal and will focus on increasing Red and White's stake.
"Red and White believes that in light of the fast-changing landscape for football, both in the UK and globally, it will be able to assist Arsenal and ensure that it will be able to thrive in the future and become the leading football club in the world," the statement said.
It added that keeping Wenger at the club was "vital to the future success of the club."
Wenger, who has been with Arsenal since 1996, will reportedly soon sign a new contract. His current deal expires at the end of the season.
Dein was ousted from the Arsenal board in April after falling out with other members of the board over the possibility of a takeover by American businessman Stan Kroenke. Kroenke owns 11.26 percent of Arsenal.
Dein's departure was given as one of the reasons why striker Thierry Henry left the club to join FC Barcelona in the offseason.
"I have always had the best interests of Arsenal at heart," Dein said.
"I firmly believe that the involvement of Red and White with a significant stake and the long-term commitment of Arsene Wenger are absolutely the best outcome for the club, fans and shareholders."
Another Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, took over Chelsea in 2003.


Updated : 2021-05-07 09:15 GMT+08:00