Page last updated at 10:30 GMT, Friday, 11 December 2009

Arsenal shareholder Usmanov raises his stake

Alisher Usmanov
Mr Usmanov remains Arsenal's second-biggest shareholder

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has increased his stake in Arsenal football club to just over 26%.

He bought into Arsenal in August 2007, paying former vice-chairman David Dein about £75m for his 14.65% stake.

But US billionaire Stan Kroenke, who has been increasing his stake in Arsenal, remains the largest shareholder with 29.9%.

If a shareholder's stake in a company reaches 30%, he or she has to offer to buy the entire stockholding.

Mr Kroenke has been gradually increasing his stake in Arsenal this year through a number of different share purchases.

In addition to his stake in Arsenal, Mr Kroenke also owns the NBA's Denver Nuggets basketball side and the Colorado Rapids MLS football team.

At Arsenal's annual general meeting at the Emirates Stadium on 22 October, Mr Kroenke was asked what his intentions were for the north London club, but he chose not to speak.

Four-way split

Mr Usmanov is a Russian metals magnate with an estimated $1.6bn fortune, according to Forbes magazine.

He has taken his stake to a total of 16,223, from 15,555 shares.

Mr Kroenke bought his last batch of shares in November, at £8,500 each, a price that values the club at about £529m.

He owns a stake in Russian telecom Megafon as well as the business daily, Kommersant.

Besides Mr Usmanov - through his investment vehicle Red and White Holdings - and Mr Kroenke, Arsenal's other main shareholders are Danny Fiszman, and Lady Bracewell-Smith.

Arsenal in September revealed its annual pre-tax profits had risen to £45.5m in the year to 31 May.



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