As of September 4, 2011, the largest shareholder in the club is Stan Kroenke, owner of Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE), who owns 41,537 shares (66.76%). Kroenke’s holdings in the club began with an initial 9.9% bought from ITV plc in April 2007; initially treated with hostility, he is now regarded as an ally of the Arsenal board and was appointed a non-executive director of the club in September 2008.

Kroenke brought his stake in the club up to 20.5% following a purchase of shares from fellow director Danny Fiszman. On 1 May 2009, Arsenal announced that Kroenke had bought a further 4,839 shares from the Carr family, including Richard Carr, also a director, which made him the largest shareholder of the company with 28.3%. On November the same year, this increased to the maximum 29.9% limit.

A rival bid for the club came from Red & White Holdings, which is co-owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov and London-based financier Farhad Moshiri. Red & White bought the stake held by former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, as well as stakes owned by Lansdowne and many other minor shareholders, and as of September 2011 own 18,204 shares (29.25%) of the club. This is the largest single stake owned by a non-board member.

This led to press speculation of a bidding war between Kroenke and Usmanov.  However, Kroenke agreed not to purchase more than 29.9% of the club until at least September 2009, while the rest of the board agreed not to consider a sale of their shares to “non-permitted persons” until at least April 2009, and had first option on each others’ shares until October 2012.

In April 2011, Kroenke extended his ownership of the club by purchasing the shareholdings of Nina Bracewell-Smith (15.9%), Danny Fiszman (16.11%) and other directors of the Arsenal board, taking his shareholding to 66.64%. Under company law Kroenke, as majority shareholder, is obliged to make an offer for the remaining shares in the club, which would include those owned by Red & White Holdings as well as any stakes held by the remaining minority shareholders of the club;  these include those owned by former players as well as three shares owned by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust.

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