Aliko Dangote Africa’s Richest Man to Buy Arsenal FC
The richest man in Africa is planning to buy Arsenal within four years.
Aliko Dangote, a successful Nigerian businessman with a reported worth of $10.9billion, outlined his plans in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York on Wednesday.
The 59-year-old, a self-professed Arsenal supporter, will become the first African owner of a Premier League club if his takeover bid is successful.
However, after losing $4.4billion this year mainly due to the depreciation of Nigeria’s currency, he is waiting for his finances to improve before attempting to buy the club.
“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.”
Stan Kroenke, Arsenal’s current majority shareholder with a 66% stake in the club, has an estimated worth of $8billion.
Dangote, ranked 67th on the Forbes rich list, is worth more than both Kroenke and Usmanov and had claimed that the building of an oil refinery in Nigeria will give him the finance to secure a takeover.
“When we get this refinery on track, I will have enough time and enough resources to pay what they are asking for,” he told BBC Hausa.
“There were a couple of us who were rushing to buy [in 2011], and we thought with the prices then, the people who were interested in selling were trying to go for a kill,” Dangote added.
“We backtracked because we were very busy doing other things, especially our industrialisation.”
Dangote previously claimed boss Arsene Wenger needed to “change his style a bit” with the club “needing a new direction”, despite back-to-back FA Cup triumphs.