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By ESPN Staff

Kroenke edges closer to takeover threshold

Stan Kroenke has purchased another 10 shares in Arsenal's parent holding company, at a cost of some £85,000, to edge closer towards the takeover threshold.

The Denver-based sports magnate is now the largest individual shareholder in the Gunners, with a stake of some 28.9%, which includes a £765,000 purchase earlier this month.

Should Kroenke, or indeed anyone else such as second-largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov, reach a figure of 29.9%, they would, under the City's financial regulations, be obliged to launch a formal takeover bid.

However, when the matter of his intentions for the Premier League club was raised during last week's Annual General Meeting at Emirates Stadium, the American - nicknamed 'Silent Stan' - chose not to take the opportunity to address the gathered shareholders, with chairman Peter Hill-Wood intervening.

Any public statements against future bid intentions must be unambiguous, otherwise the individual or group would, under the Takeover Panel's rule 2.8, be prevented from making a formal move for six months.

The latest share dealings were confirmed to the Plus market.

"On 26th October 2009, Arsenal Holdings plc (the "Company") received notification that on 26th October 2009 Stan Kroenke, a director of the company, acquired 10 ordinary shares of £1.00 each in the company at a price of £8,500 per share," a statement read.

"Taking into account such acquisition, Stan Kroenke has a beneficial interest in, and controls voting rights over, 17,967 ordinary shares in the company, representing 28.9% of the company's issued ordinary shares."

Speaking last week, Hill-Wood insisted major changes behind the scenes were not on the agenda.

The Arsenal chairman stressed: "I don't think we are looking for a change in custodian. I think you will find the club is in pretty good hands. I believe he [Kreonke] is happy to be a long-term shareholder in our club."


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