CC, Slaughters win lead roles on Arsenal bid

Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May have secured the leading roles on the latest international takeover of a Premier League football club following US businessman Stan Kroenke’s £731m offer for Arsenal.

Arsenal turned to Slaughters as its longstanding corporate adviser. Corporate partner and head of sport Andrew Jolly led the transaction alongside relationship partner Nigel Boardman.

Jolly said: “We have always enjoyed working with Arsenal and have respected the history and traditions of the club, and we hope that continues. I’ve met Stan a few times and it’s always been a positive relationship.”

Kroenke and his Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE) company turned to Clifford Chance, with corporate partner Tim Lewis leading the team. Finance partners Karen Hodson (London) and Jason Young (New York) advised on the deal’s financing.

Lewis’ relationship with Kroenke dates back to his time at former firm Macfarlanes. He advised the US businessman on his first investment in Arsenal, when Kroenke bought 9.9 per cent of its shares in 2007.

Lewis commented: “It’s a fantastic project to be involved in and he’s been a terrific client.”

There were also roles on the transaction for Herbert Smith corporate partner Malcolm Lombers, acting for Kroenke’s financial adviser Deutsche Bank, and White & Case banking partner Jake Mincemoyer, acting for Deutsche Bank as lender.

The recommended mandatory bid was launched following Kroenke’s purchase of a combined 33 per cent stake from Arsenal directors Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith. He now owns almost 63 per cent of the club, with the majority of the remaining shares in the hands of Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov.