Birmingham City takeover completed

17 Oct

St Andrew's


Birmingham City, managed Gary Rowett, are currently sixth in the Championship table

The takeover of Birmingham City by Chinese firm Trillion Trophy Asia (TTA) has been formally completed after the club’s parent company resumed trading.

TTA, controlled by businessman Paul Suen, have acquired more than 50% shares in the Championship side.

In 2015, Suen’s TTA were granted a two-year exclusivity period to negotiate the purchase of Blues.

The sale ends the club’s seven-year association with Carson Yeung, who was convicted of money laundering in 2014.

“A line can formally be drawn under the old regime and we can continue to plan ahead for a brighter Blues future,” said a club statement.

“The club’s parent company, Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL), has resumed trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and is now in the expert hands of Trillion Trophy Asia Limited.

“We welcome all at TTA into the Blues family and we look forward to exciting times ahead at St Andrew’s under their guidance and with their backing.”

Receivers Ernst & Young had been running the club since February 2015, after their parent company BIHL went into receivership.

Former banker Panos Pavlakis has been in charge of the day-to-day running of operations as director since 2014, but neither his future – nor the make-up of the club’s board under Suen’s ownership – is yet clear.

All four of the West Midlands’ biggest clubs are now under Chinese ownership, after Dr Tony Xia’s takeover of Aston Villa, the sale of West Bromwich Albion to a Chinese Investment group and Chinese conglomerate Fosun International’s purchase of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Analysis

BBC WM’s Richard Wilford

“We’re not talking a cash-rich situation. We’re not looking at the £50m that Villa have spent this year or the 14 or 15 players that Wolves have brought in.

“They (TTA) have already been putting money in and there may well be a bit of cash in January for a couple of decent players, but don’t expect anything flashy. Don’t expect the nature of the club to change.

“The theory is that he (Paul Suen) will want to improve what is there, whether it is in terms of the infrastructure of Birmingham City or whether it be their fortunes on the playing side, because, if he does ultimately sell the club on, he will want to do so for a profit.”

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