Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has again set his sights on buying Arsenal following a report that Alisher Usmanov is exploring a sale of his 30 percent stake.
The Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing sources close to the Russian billionaire, that Usmanov has grown frustrated that the club’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, is unwilling to engage in takeover talks and has given up all hope of acquiring the club outright.
Asked about the report later in the day, Dangote, who has held an interest in buying Arsenal since 2010, confirmed he would pursue a takeover in two years.
“We will go after Arsenal from 2020 … even if somebody buys, we will still go after it,” Dangote told Reuters.
Aliko Dangote added that the need for healthy cash flow until completion of his oil refinery project rules out a move for Arsenal before then.
Usmanov had previously made a $1.3 billion offer to buy out Kroenke, but KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) UK Inc said its shares in the Premier League club were not for sale.
Last year, Aliko Dangote said he thought Kroenke would budge for the right price.
“If they get the right offer, I’m sure they would walk away,” he said. “Someone will give them an offer that will make them seriously consider walking away. And when we finish the refinery, I think we will be in a position to do that.”