Having conquered the cruise industry and professional basketball, is Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison setting his sights on soccer? The British press is buzzing with rumors that Arison is selling hundreds of thousands of Carnival shares for many millions of dollars so he can buy the Villa Aston Football Club in Birmingham, England.
The City Diary column in The Telegraph seems to take Arison and league officials’ refusal to deny the speculation as some sort of confirmation.
On the record, of course, a Carnival Corp. spokeswoman says “as a general rule, we do not comment on rumors of this nature.”
Arison’s Miami Heat lost the NBA championship to the San Antonio Spurs last night.
In late February, Carnival Corp. announced that Arison intended to sell up to 10 million shares for tax planning, estate planning and diversification purposes.
Just about a year ago, Arison gave up the CEO position at Carnival Corp., which was filled by long-time board member Arnold Donald effective July 3.