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By ESPN Staff

Usmanov: No plans for takeover of Arsenal

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has issued a statement to the Stock Exchange confirming his Red and White Holdings company 'has no current intention to make an offer' for Arsenal. Usmanov yesterday maintained his company has no 'further plans' to obtain more than a 25% stake in the Gunners. Earlier this month, Red & White - fronted by former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein - increased their stock to just over 24%. Usmanov's interest precipitated a 'lock-down' agreement by the Gunners board, which meant the Uzbek-born metals magnate cannot launch a formal takeover bid at this moment. And a statement today said: 'Red and White is pleased to confirm its previous statement that it has no current intention to make an offer for Arsenal Holdings Plc ('Arsenal') and is committing to this position for a further six months. 'Red and White has the necessary funding to increase its stake further. However, it confirms that it will not acquire a shareholding in Arsenal which would trigger an obligation to make an offer for the shares in Arsenal. 'As the largest shareholder in Arsenal, Red and White is delighted with the excellent results of the club on the field and would encourage all parties to focus on a trophy winning conclusion to the domestic and European campaigns.'