AGM latest: Kroenke tight-lipped over Arsenal future

HOW close are we to a takeover bid from Stan Kroenke? Well this afternoon’s AGM was always going to shed some light on the American billionaire’s intentions wasn’t it. Er, no. That doesn’t appear to be the case, the latest reports from the meeting suggest.
For it seems Kroenke has maintained his silence at the AGM, when questions were directly raised as to his plans for further investment in the Gunners.
Of course, Kroenke is now the largest individual shareholder in the Gunners’ holding company, with a stake of some 28.86% and should he reach the 29.9% threshold, he would – under the City’s financial regulations – be obliged to launch a formal takeover bid.
But when the subject was raised, Kroenke is said to have simply sat and smiled, allowing chairman Peter Hill-Wood to address the floor, who said: “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 [Stan] is happy to be a long-term shareholder in our club. Really it’s not for me to say what his intentions are.”
Kroenke’s group are just some 646 shares short of the takeover threshold. 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.
Hill-Wood added: “It is not something I can discuss publicly or even privately. We have a takeover panel breathing down our necks and I have to be very careful with what I say.”
Birthday boy Arsene Wenger was happy to answer questions from shareholders, once again re-affirming his belief in the young Gunners.
He said: “I know that we haven’t won a trophy for four years but we were very close. I believe that this year the team will do it. When I say that, it is not to please you, it is because I am really convinced of it.”
Check back soon for the latest breaking news from the AGM.

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