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Blackstone hired for Arsenal stake sale

13 Apr 2010

US buy-out powerhouse Blackstone has been hired to find a buyer for a crucial shareholder’s 16 per cent stake in high-profile UK football club Arsenal, according to reports.

The sale of Nina Bracewell-Smith’s interest in the Premier League team could prove pivotal if either of the club’s two biggest shareholders decide to bid on it.

Kroenke Sports Enterprises and Red and White Holdings are said to own 29.98 per cent and 26.29 per cent respectively, and would be required to make a takeover bid for Arsenal if their holdings exceed 30 per cent.

US sports and real estate entrepreneur Kroenke and Russian metals tycoon Alisher Usmanov, who owns investment firm Red and White Holdings, have been wrangling for control of the north London club for months.

If either party succeeds in picking up Bracewell-Smith’s stake, they could become the new owners of the football club, which is set to take on arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow in the north London derby.

A deal is likely to value Arsenal at more than £500m (€566.4m) and would net Bracewell-Smith a potential £80m (€90.6m) for her interest.

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