Thursday, July 19, 2007

Legal firm acts on two Asian takeovers of EPL clubs

UK legal firm Hammonds has acted on its second English Premier League football deal iwithin two weeks, advising Hong Kong businesman Carson Yeung Ka-Shing on his purchase of a third of Birmingham City plc, the owner of Birmingham City FC, through Hong Kong-listed GrandTop International Holdings. GrandTop agreed to pay £14.94 million for the stake, making it the largest single shareholder in the club, which was promoted to the Premier League in April. Birmingham corporate partner Michael Clifford led the Hammonds team advising GrandTop. "We’ve had a number of dealings in the football world and we had an existing relationship with Seymour Pierce, the financial advisers, so we came recommended," Clifford said.

The Birmingham City deal follows less than two weeks after Hammonds advised on the £81.6 million takeover of Manchester City FC. The firm acted for purchaser UK Sports Investments, which is indirectly owned by the family of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by a military coup last September and is facing allegations of fraud and corruption relating to his time in office. "The deals reflect the success of our corporate finance practice integrating with our sports law team," Clifford added, as quoted by The Lawyer.

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