Spotify founder Daniel Ek says his proposed Arsenal takeover is “very serious” and that he has secured funds for a deal. The bid is reported to be around £1.8 billion.
Amid last week’s fallout from the European Super League collapse, Ek said he was interested in buying the club. Arsenal legends Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira have joined his bid but owners Stan and Josh Kroenke say they do not want to sell.
Ek wants to bring a compelling offer and hopes the Kroenkes “hear me out”. “I’m very serious,” Ek, who is worth a reported $4.7bn (£3.38bn), told CNBC. I have secured the funds for it and I want to bring a very compelling offer to the owners and I hope they hear me out. I certainly didn’t expect this will happen overnight and I am prepared for this to be a long journey.”
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Swedish billionaire Ek first signalled his interest in the club following protests by Gunners fans against the Kroenkes for their role in the failed European Super League.
The Kroenkes responded by saying they were “100% committed” to Arsenal and “are not selling any stake”.
“I’ve been an Arsenal fan since I was eight years old,” Ek said. “Arsenal is my team. I love the history. I love the players. And of course, I love the fans. So as I look at that, I just see a tremendous opportunity to set a real vision for the club to bring it back to its glory. And I want to establish trust with fans and I want to engage the fans again.”
Stan Kroenke, 73, took a 9.9% stake in Arsenal in 2007 and slowly built up his shareholding until it reached 62.89% in April 2011. He then assumed full control of the club after Alisher Usmanov accepted his 2018 bid to buy him out for £550m.
He is the owner of numerous sports franchises, including NFL side the Los Angeles Rams and NBA team the Denver Nuggets.
Kroenke’s son Josh is a director at the club and heavily involved in its day-to-day operations.
Ek, 38, co-founded music streaming service Spotify in 2006 and remains the organisation’s chief executive officer.
He was born in Stockholm, Sweden and worked for and founded other businesses before setting up Spotify.
Spotify has more than 180 million users with 87 million paying subscribers.