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.