Spotify owner Daniel Ek says he is prepared for a “long journey” with his offer to buy Arsenal and will make “a very attractive offer” to try and persuade the Kroenke family to sell.
Swedish billionaire Ek, 38, who has enlisted the support of club legends Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira, is expected to make his first bid – in the region of £1.8 billion – in the coming days.
The Kroenkes, whose ownership has come under renewed opposition following the club’s entry into the failed European Super League last week, insist they “will not take any offers”.
Ek expects the Kroenkes to turn down his initial offer, but is willing to be patient in what is likely to be a long process.
Speaking to Sky’s sister station CNBC, Ek said: “I got the money for it and I want to make a very attractive offer to the owners and I hope they listen to me.”
Ek, who expressed interest in a deal via Twitter last Friday night, says he is “very serious” with his takeover offer and “wants to get the fans involved again”.
“I just see a great opportunity to put a real vision for the club to make it shine again,” he added.
He has already hinted that he would be open to fan representation on Arsenal’s board if he succeeds in buying the club, including the option of giving supporters a ‘golden share’, which would give veto power over key decisions. .
“I’m just focusing on the club, I’m focusing on the fans and I’m focusing on trying to bring the club back to glory,” added Ek, speaking after Spotify announced their first quarter results on Wednesday.
“I’m a fan first and foremost, that’s the most important thing for me. I want the club to do better. That’s my primary interest.”
Ek, who co-founded Spotify in 2006 and is estimated to be worth £3.2bn, does not view his approach to buying the club as personal and made sure not to criticize the current owners during his televised appearance.
Stan Kroenke, owner of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), has owned Arsenal since April 2011.
KSE also owns the NFL franchise Los Angeles Rams, NBA side Denver Nuggets, NHL outfit Colorado Avalanche, and MLS side Colorado Rapids.
Arsenal director Josh Kroenke told a fans forum that his family would work harder to deal with fans more effectively in the future.
Mikel Arteta’s side – who are currently 10th, 12 points behind Chelsea in fourth place – must effectively win the Europa League if they want to play European football next season.
Fans unhappy with Kroenkes have someone ‘they can get behind’
Analysis from Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
“The skeptics said this was a publicity stunt. The cynics said this is not going to happen. Well, we have now heard from the main character himself. Daniel Ek has made it clear that he is trying very seriously to buy Arsenal, has he got the funds? We know that Arsenal is valued at at least £2bn, so it would suggest he has managed to get that sort of funding together to try and push through this proposed deal.
“He describes it as a very compelling, thoughtful offer and he says to the Kroenkes, ‘Please listen to me, I’m going to make this offer in the next few days, it will be made for you and then it’s up to you to make a decision. He already knows the Kroenkes have said Arsenal is not for sale That’s no surprise, of course no one will come out and say their Premier League club is worth billions of pounds, is for sale, but in business comes at a price, as our CNBC colleagues pointed out.
“If he can entice the Kroenkes to sell, then he is ready to move in and buy Arsenal. What I find interesting in the long term is that he himself said he is prepared for a long journey. he expects the Kroenkes to tell him the club is not for sale but now he will always be in the background we know he is a true fan he has been a fan for 30 years we know now he is close to thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira. He’s got the legends on board and these fans who aren’t happy with the Kroenkes now have someone to stand behind.”
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How was Ek able to finance Arsenal’s takeover bid?
Sky News business presenter Ian King tells Sky Sports News:
“I think he was quite measured, to be honest. He answered all the questions they asked him about Arsenal. What I took with me is that he said: ‘I don’t expect this to be something that happens overnight. picked.” In that sense, he won’t try to rush his fences.
“There are many questions that arise from the interview he gave to CNBC, one of which will be that he says he got the funding, where he got it from and, if successful, what assets the funding would be about. for example, be sure of his shareholding on Spotify?
His wealth has actually been misreported in recent days. I mean, the exact detail is that he owns 8 percent of Spotify and currently his Spotify shares are down 10 percent on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) this afternoon. valued at about $50 billion, so he owns 8 percent of $50 billion — about $4 billion to be exact. Now we don’t know if he has any cash on top of that.
“Remember, while many Arsenal fans will be crossing their fingers in hopes of looking like the Kroenkes, remember that you’ve seen other football club takeovers – particularly when the Glazer family bought Manchester United – a lot of them were in debt They didn’t put in much of their equity when they bought that company and accordingly much of it was secured against the club’s assets and debt service was a huge burden, a huge drain on Manchester United’s coffers over the years. “