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Arsenal vulnerable to takeover bid as biggest shareholders has decided to sell

One of Arsenal’s biggest shareholders has decided to sell her stake in the Premier League club raising the possibility of a takeover bid for the north London side.

A person familiar with the situation told the Reuters news agency that US private equity firm Blackstone has been retained in the last few days by Nina Bracewell-Smith to find a buyer for her stake of almost 16 per cent in the club.

Bracewell-Smith’s decision to sell her holding could be of huge interest to the club’s two big investors – Kroenke Sports Enterprises and Red and White Holdings – and possibly lead to a bid for control of the club.

American sports and real estate entrepreneur Kroenke currently owns 29.98 per cent of the club, just short of the 30 per cent threshold that would require him to make a mandatory takeover offer. Uzbek-born metals oilgarch Alisher Usmanov holds a 26.29 per cent stake through his investment vehicle Red and White.

In January, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said he did not expect any takeover bid despite Kroenke’s growing interest in the club. Blackstone Group declined to comment.

Arsenal’s website said as of April 12 Bracewell-Smith owned 15.9 per cent of Arsenal Holding

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