Usmanov Hovers As Lady Nina Leaves
Arsenal today announced that Ivan Gazidis will be joining the club from 1 January as Chief Executive. But the most startling news is that Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith owner of 15.95% of Arsenal has left the board with immediate effect.
When a company makes such an announcement, it normally implies that the departure was not amicable. The crux of the matter are her shares. Whislt she was a member of the Board, she was bound by the lock down agreement, however she was always perceived to be the weakest link. Lad Bracewell-Smith inherited her shares, and in the current economic climate she might have had the desire to sell them.
As acknowledged by Peter Hill-Wood, Lady Nina is at liberty to sell her shares. Usmanov will certainly be in the market to buy her shares and thus consolidate his holding in the club. If Usmanov bought these shares he would be required to make a formal bid for the all the shares he does not currently own.
Of the other board members, Danny Fizsmann and Stan Kroenke have substantial shareholdings. In the case of Fizsmann any sale will be tax free as he is now a tax exile. Kroenke has only joined the board, but a chance to make a profit on his shareholding will not go amiss.
This resignation puts Arsenal into play for a takeover. The next few months promise to be very interesting in the boardroom.