Birmingham in takeover talks

Birmingham are at an advanced stage in discussions with a

mystery Hong Kong party interested in a takeover of the

Championship club.

The board of Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL),

City’s parent company, told the Stock Exchange they are in talks

with two parties from Hong Kong and one from the UK – believed to

be Gianni Paladini’s Italian-backed consortium.

The former QPR chairman was understood to be leading the chase,

although Blues’ acting chairman Peter Pannu last week poured cold

water on claims from Paladini that their takeover deal could be

agreed within 10 days.

A statement from BIHL read: “As previously announced on

September 21 and October 9, the board has been approached by

several prospective buyers who had shown interest in the purchase

of BCFC, which is the company’s sole operating assets.

“Given the fact that confidential non-disclosure agreements had

been entered into with three of the parties who are still in

pursuit, two in Kong Kong and one in the United Kingdom, it is

inappropriate to divulge detailed information of the status of the

negotiations.

“The board wishes to inform the shareholders that the criteria

that the board shall adopt in this disposal would be to identify a

new owner who could take BCFC to the next level both in terms of

their financial standing, business acumen and overall suitability

and the nature of their offer and the overall terms of the

offer.

“A balance will be struck between what is the most beneficial

for the shareholders and what is the most appropriate for the

development of BCFC as the board acknowledges that football is a

business where, inter alia, the aspirations of the fans need to be

considered.”

The statement added: “The negotiation with one of the parties in

Hong Kong is at an advanced stage although no conditional binding

agreement has been entered into between the parties.

“The transaction, if it proceeds, will constitute a very

substantial disposal transaction by the company under the listing

rules and will be subject to the approval of the shareholders in a

general meeting.

“A detailed announcement will be made as and when

appropriate.”

A first offer from Paladini’s consortium, believed to be around

?25million, was rejected in September.

Meanwhile, current owner and Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung,

who is currently unable to leave the Far East, will still face

court on November 28 over alleged money laundering after today

seeing a bid to delay the case rejected.