The weekend reports that Alisher Usmanov has been advised to sell his stake in Arsenal Football club at the weekend are founded in fact, Arsenal Insider can confirm today. The financial stability of Usmanov’s mining company Metalloinvest being chiefly responsible for his sudden need to find some cash. This dates back to a power struggle between Usmanov and Vladimir Potanin a very rich shareholder in a company called Norlisk Nickel. Usmanov’s assets in Metalloinvest are a 50% stake.
Usmanov wanted the company valued on the stock market at £20 billion prior to a merger with the Ukrainian Industrial Union of Donbass using an IPO or Initial Placement offering. Usmanov switched horses during the negotiations and then tried to organise a merger with the rival Norlisk Nickel to fend off a hostile takeover of said company by another called Deripaska. Vladimir Potanin the owner of Norlisk Nickel sensed that he was in a stronger position and managed following the assistance of The Kremlin via President Putin, to block the hostile advances of Deripaska and then promptly told Usmanov where to stick his mining company.
Commodities on the Russian Stock market have suffered 70% falls in their value, just at a time when Usmanov’s Mettaloinvest was due to pay its undertaking of £2 Billion in hard cash for it’s previous takeover of a Copper Mining company in Siberia. Usmanov is obliged to come up with the initial £0.6 Billion right away, and he cannot raise credit against Metalloinvest whose value is disputed, and certainly less than £10 Billions. All this need for cash at a time when the banking system and stock market is under considerable strain is welcome news for Arsenal fans in one sense.
My Arsenal Insider sharewatch details that Usmanov owns 15,331 shares worth £122.648 millions, which could raise a quarter of the cash that Usmanov needs urgently. He is not bound by the lockdown agreement and his shareholding which amounts to 25% of Arsenal Holdings would give a new investor the blocking share shy by 224 votes. The new investor may then use this shareholding to either bid for the club, or just maintain a watchful eye. Speculation appears to point towards Arab interest, the Maktoum family being favoured to stake a claim in Arsenal rather than the initial declared interest in Charlton Athletic Football Club by a proxy company Zabeel Investments. Initially the Royal family via their negotiators had approached Usmanov to find out if he was interested in buying, but this was before the stock market crash. I await further developments.
Fabregas the King.