Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has been topped to launch a stunning takeover bid at Arsenal this year having tried to assume ownership multiple times from Stan Kroenke for a number of years.
His name, along with many others, has not been mentioned much in the past year for obvious reasons, as the coronavirus pandemic and pushed takeover bids of any kind, understandably, down respective to-do lists.
On the Forbes Rich List, Dangote is ranked 201 in the world with a net worth of $11.5bn. His interest in Arsenal is long-standing, having expressed a desire in purchasing the club as far back as 2011 when he moved to buy Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith’s 15.9% stake. That was eventually purchased by Kroenke.
“There were a couple of us who were rushing to buy, and we thought with the prices then, the people who were interested in selling were trying to go for a kill,” he said, as quoted by football.london.
“We backtracked, because we were very busy doing other things, especially our industrialisation. When we get this refinery on track, I will have enough time and enough resources to pay what they are asking for.”
He has been outspoken on his desire ever since, making public announcements with each passing year. Some bold statements, too.
“It’s not about buying Arsenal and just continuing with business as usual,” Dangote said.
“It’s about buying Arsenal and turning it around. I’ve run a very successful business and I think I can also run a very successful team. Right now, with what we’re facing, over $20 billion of projects, I cannot do both.
“There’s no doubt [I’ll buy Arsenal], it’s not a problem of money.”
Progress in his other businesses are keeping his plans on track for a 2021 bid, but could it actually happen?