Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hong Kong's Yeung now home at Birmingham City

English Premier League club Birmingham City has confirmed that “discussions are continuing” over a possible takeover after directors agreed to sell 29.9% of the club’s shares to Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung Ka-Shing. Directors David and Ralph Gold, David Sullivan, Karren Brady and Roger Bannister yesterday gave Grandtop International Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong investment firm Yeung partly owns, the right to buy the shares at the ordinary share capital of 61.331 pence.

But although he must have 30% of shares before being compelled to make an offer on the entire company, a statement to the Stock Exchange revealed that a further investment was still possible. “Shareholders should be aware that there is currently no indication at this stage that a formal offer will be made for the company as a whole but discussions are continuing with GIHL which may or may not lead to a cash offer being made for the company in due course,” the statement read.

The Golds and Sullivan have each agreed to sell 14.81% of the club’s shares to GIHL, with Brady agreeing to part with 0.23% and Bannister offering up 0.05%. Yeung has until 5pm on July 16 to take up the offer and has already paid the club a £1.09 million non-refundable deposit.

If GIHL did buy the maximum 29.9%, Yeung would instantly become the single largest stakeholder, taking over from the Gold brothers and Sullivan who currently own 78% of the shares between them. In the new arrangement the Golds and Sullivan would see their stake fall to 23.22% each.

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