Nigerian businessman and politician Orji Uzor Kalu has revealed his desire to invest in English soccer Arsenal Football Club. The investment, he said, is inspired by his quest to help the London-based club win more trophies, including the European continental competition the Champions League, and the English Premier League.
Kalu, whose source of wealth comes from oil and media investments, said he intends to purchase up to a 35% stake in Arsenal Football Club. He is emboldened by his previous success with two-time CAF Champions League (Africa’s version of the European Champions League) winner, Enyimba International FC.
As governor of Abia State, Kalu invested in Enyimba and the club enjoyed great success in the domestic front, winning the Nigerian soccer league title and clinching the CAF Champions League trophy in 2003 and 2004, according to Goal.com.
“Our success with Enyimba FC between 2000-07 has continuously increased my passion for football,” Kalu tweeted. “As the pillar of sports in Africa, I am considering an investment in football and I will buy 35 percent stake in Arsenal FC.
“Our target is to lift the Champions League and the Premier League, and valuable investment as well. “Doing what you love and loving it is where greatness lies. I need 35 per cent of Arsenal to bring back trophies.”
London-based Arsenal enjoys a huge following in Nigeria dating back to the days of Nwankwo Kanu, who joined the London club in 1999 and recent players like Alex Iwobi and Chuba Akpom. Over the last five years, thousands of Nigerians have come together to celebrate Arsenal Day, a two-day celebration of the soccer club. They sing songs, dance and eat together, and enjoy an Arsenal themed party.
Kalu’s intention to buy shares in Arsenals makes him the second Nigerian businessperson to express interest in investing in the club. Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote also indicated his interest in investing in the club. The businessman is reportedly worth over $10 billion.
Kalu founded Slok Holding, a conglomerate with different subsidiaries. Slok Nigeria Ltd, one of the subsidiaries of Slok Holding, is engaged in the upstream sector of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
Companies such as Slok United Kingdom Ltd Slok Vegetable Oil, Slok Paper Factory Aba, Slok United States Incorporated, Slok Ghana, Slok Guinea, Slok Korea, Slok Togo, Slok Cotonou, Slok South Africa, Slok Liberia, Slok Botswana, Slok Korea are also listed as subsidiaries of Slok Holding.
He also owns Sun Publishing Limited, Adamawa Publishers Limited and Ojialex Furniture Limited.