According to The Telegraph, a Middle Eastern consortium is lining up a world record bid of £1.5bn bid for Arsenal.
The cash offer, which is more than twice the amount at which Arsenal were valued two years ago, will be for 100% of the club, and if successful would wipe out debts that stand at around £250 million according to the last full year’s financial results.
The offer works out at around £20,000 per share, which would give Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke a profit of around £350m on his original investment.
A bid source told the The Guardian:
‘Arsenal is at a pivotal position at the moment. The fear is that the club is facing a cycle of decline like Liverpool. From our point of view it is the perfect moment to make this bid because at this moment in time you can still genuinely justify this extraordinary valuation on the club.
‘We will not bid for Arsenal if they go into decline. Kroenke and Usmanov will not get this kind of valuation if Arsenal do not succeed and will not get this kind of valuation ever again. We think that bidding now is the key because it is going to give every shareholder maximum value. We are giving them peak valuation.
‘The amount of capital required to pump into Arsenal to make it competitive within England, Europe and the world means that the valuation cannot go any higher.’
A meeting has already been requested with Kroenke to discuss the proposed offer. The seriousness of the bid is reinforced by the recent successful takeovers of Manchester City and Paris St-Germain by Middle East backers.
Now Kroenke has told Arsenal fans on several occasions that he is at Arsenal “ for the long haul”. And he has never sold any of the US sports teams he owns.
However, if Arsenal don’t qualify for the champions league next season and the financial implications that has, I wonder if Kroenke would change his mind? It’s easy to say that you will not sell, until you get an all-cash offer on the table. Then it becomes a lot harder.
What do you think Kroenke will do?