Hopes that Aliko Dangote will one day launch and complete a dream Arsenal takeover have been hit with a $1.4 billion (£1.01bn) blow.
The 63-year-old Nigerian billionaire – dubbed Africa’s richest man – has regularly spoken publicly about a desire to buy out the club’s current owner, American Stan Kroenke.
Dangote, who is thought to be worth $16.4billion, first expressed an interest six years ago, in the public domain.
Speaking in January 2020 about a potential acquisition, he said: “It is a team that I would like to buy some day, but what I keep saying is we have $20billion worth of projects and that’s what I really want to concentrate on.
“I’m trying to finish building the company and then after we finish, maybe some time in 2021 we can.
“I’m not buying Arsenal right now, I’m buying Arsenal when I finish all these projects, because I’m trying to take the company to the next level.”
Only last month, hopes that takeover talks could be started were given fresh encouragement by the news that one of Dangote’s other business ventures – an Oil Refinery – was set to become operational.
At that stage, the 63-year-old was reported to be worth $17.8billlion – close to his Arsenal target.
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However, that benchmark figure, deemed to be a catalyst to launch his proposal, is now further away following an update on his net worth.
Indeed, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, the Nigerian businessman – founder of Dangote Industries Ltd – saw his wealth decline by 7.9% to $16.4million at the beginning of the financial quarter leading up to March 31, 2021.
It’s thought that he – or any other potential investors – would need to stump up around $2billion to successfully buy out Kroenke and assume the required shares to complete a takeover at the Emirates Stadium.