08 September 2000

Granada Media continues its incursion into the soccer market with plans to buy a 5% stake in London club Arsenal FC. Granada will invest £47 million in a strategic partnership which will form a joint venture, AFC Broadband.

The broadcaster aims to increase its holding by a further 4.99% once Arsenal’s proposed 60,000-seat stadium at Ashburton Grove has been approved.

The move is the latest in a string of deals between football clubs and media owners seeking to secure broadcasting rights in the lucrative football market. Granada already holds a stake in Liverpool FC, while NTL and BSkyB own shares in other Premiership clubs.

As a result of the announcement, Arsenal, which had previously been in talks with Carlton, saw its shares climb £100 on the unofficial Ofex market.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)