Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, had said he will consider buying a football club other than London-based Arsenal if controlling shareholder Stan Kroenke refuses to sell.
Dangote has long said he wants to buy the Premier League team, of which he’s a fan, but only after he’s completed one of the world’s biggest oil refineries in Lagos.
“By the time we’ve finished, we’ll be a $30bn company in terms of revenue,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV at the New Economy Forum in Singapore. “We’ll have an excess amount of cash to start playing around with.”
Kroenke owns almost all of Arsenal after buying Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s 30 per cent stake in August in a deal that valued the club at about £1.8bn. It was funded with a £557m , two-year loan from Deutsche Bank AG. The 71-year-old American is worth $8bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and also controls the National Football League’s Los Angeles Rams.
“I’m very attached to Arsenal but if he won’t sell, I might have to change,” said Dangote, 61 years old and worth $11.1bn. “I’m very much a fan of football. I have to have a club. I don’t have to own Arsenal.”
The refinery is scheduled to start producing fuel in early 2020, and Lagos-based Dangote Cement Plc will probably be listed in London around September next year, he told Bloomberg.