Billionaire Aliko Dangote Makes Huge Arsenal Takeover Statement 

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Dangote Arsenal takeover
Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has promised to move forward with an Arsenal takeover bid that has been the Nigerian businessman’s long-term desire. In this photo taken, Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, Nigerian billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote attends a global business environment meeting in Lagos, Nigeria. Image: Ap Photo/Sunday Alamba, file

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has promised to buy his favorite English Premier League soccer club in 2021.

The Nigerian billionaire has long made his ambitions to own Arsenal Football Club clear, mentioning his desire to purchase the North London club known as “The Gunners” on numerous occasions over the years.

Arsenal is valued at $2.3 billion, making it the eighth-most valuable soccer club in the world, BusinessInsider reports. The most expensive soccer club in the world, Spain’s Real Madrid, is worth $3.68 billion.

Dangote’s personal fortune amounts to around $16.2 billion, making him the 88th wealthiest man in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The 62-year-old recently brought up his plan to launch a future takeover bid for Arsenal during an interview in the U.S. that aired on the David Rubenstein Show.

“It is a team that yes I would like to buy someday, but what I keep saying is we have $20 billion worth of projects and that’s what I really want to concentrate on,” Dangote said.

“I’m trying to finish building the company and then after we finish, maybe sometime 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,” he added.

Dangote made his fortune after founding Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement producer. He also owns stakes in agricultural commodities and oil and gas firms.

Before making a takeover bid for Arsenal, which he had originally planned for 2020, the business tycoon wants to complete the construction of his Dangote Refinery — expected to be one of the world’s largest oil refineries, the FootballLondon reports.

If Dangote is to succeed in his plan to buy the English soccer club, he will have to buy it from American billionaire businessman Stan Kroenke. He is Arsenal’s sole owner through his holding company, the Denver-based Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.

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Kroenke is not popular with Arsenal fans who consider the American to be an absentee owner.

The fans complain that he hardly ever shows up at games and does little to show any sort of passion for the team. A change of ownership would likely be welcomed by the majority of the team’s fans.

Kroenke also owns NFL franchise the Los Angeles Rams and NBA team the Denver Nuggets.