Usmanov says no plans to exceed 25% Arsenal stake

MOSCOW Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:20pm IST

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov is seen in his office in Moscow in this September 3, 2007 file photo. Usmanov said on Wednesday his company had no plans to raise its stake in English Premier League club Arsenal beyond the 25 percent mark that would give it a veto on major club issues. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/Files

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov is seen in his office in Moscow in this September 3, 2007 file photo. Usmanov said on Wednesday his company had no plans to raise its stake in English Premier League club Arsenal beyond the 25 percent mark that would give it a veto on major club issues.

Credit: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin/Files

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov said on Wednesday his company had no plans to raise its stake in English Premier League club Arsenal beyond the 25 percent mark that would give it a veto on major club issues.

"We will raise our stake to a blocking stake," Usmanov told a news conference in Moscow."

"We have announced that our company will buy up to 25 percent. We do not have any other plans," he added.

A blocking stake constitutes 25 percent plus one share and would allow Usmanov to overrule any major club decisions.

Usmanov was speaking at a press conference to announce his company Metalloinvest's sponsorship of Russian Premier League club Dynamo Moscow.

Red and White Holdings, a company owned by Usmanov and London-based business partner Farhad Moshiri and chaired by former Arsenal vice chairman David Dein, has built a 24 percent holding in Arsenal, current leaders of England's top division.

The stake building has received a frosty reception from Arsenal's board, who between them own more than 40 percent of the shares.

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