Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote says that his intention to buy London based Arsenal football club may be delayed as he waits for his business prospects to improve and his investments in gas pipelines and an oil refinery to play out before making the acquisition reports Bloomberg.
Dangote, an Arsenal fan, made his intention known last year in a decision that would make him the first sub-Saharan owner of a team in England’s premier league. Dangote says that he is monitoring developments in his gas pipelines and oil refinery before proceeding with the acquisition.
The 59 year old billionaire wants to buy the premier league club within the next three to four years after failing to buy it in 2010 where he expressed the desire to buy 15.1 percent stake of the football club and in 2015 as well. Arsenal won the English Premier League in 2004, something the Nigerian hopes to change.
“It’s not about buying Arsenal and just continuing with business as usual,” Dangote said to Boomberg. “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.”
Dangote is worth over 10 billion dollars, but lost over 4.5 billion dollars this year when Nigeria allowed its currency to depreciate against the dollar. The bulk of Dangote’s wealth is tied up in Lagos-based Dangote Cement, whose stock has dropped 19 percent over the past two years.
American business mogul Stan Kroenke, worth $7 billion and owner of the National Basketball Association’s Denver Nuggets, holds 67 percent of Arsenal Holdings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.