Chi­nese group com­plete takeover of Birm­ing­ham

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Chi­nese group Tril­lion Tro­phy Asia (TTA) com­pleted their lengthy takeover of English club Birm­ing­ham City yes­ter­day mak­ing it the third club based in the city to fall un­der Chi­nese con­trol.

The con­fir­ma­tion of the pur­chase of the sec­ond tier side by TTA-who are con­trolled by 55-year-old Hong Kong busi­ness­man Paul Suen and his busi­ness part­ner Daniel Sue-brings to a definitive end the stormy own­er­ship of disgraced busi­ness­man Car­son Ye­ung. TTA now hold ap­prox­i­mately 50.64 per cent of the shares of Birm­ing­ham’s par­ent com­pany Birm­ing­ham In­ter­na­tional Hold­ings Lim­ited (BIHL) — Yueng had been chair­man and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the com­pany. Re­ceivers Ernst & Young had been run­ning the club since Fe­bru­ary 2015, after BIHL went into re­ceiver­ship. For­mer banker Panos Pavlakis has been in charge of the day-to-day op­er­a­tions as di­rec­tor since 2014. TTA-who 16 months ago were given a two year ex­clu­siv­ity pe­riod to com­plete the takeover-be­come the third Chi­nese op­er­a­tion to se­cure con­trol of a Birm­ing­ham club.

Yunyi Guokai Sports De­vel­op­ment Lim­ited, led by Chi­nese en­tre­pre­neur Guochuan Lai, bought Premier League side West Brom in Septem­ber, and Tony Xia ac­quired ail­ing for­mer Euro­pean Cup win­ners Aston Villa ear­lier this year.

Nearby sec­ond tier side Wolves is also un­der Chi­nese own­er­ship, Fo­sun In­ter­na­tional com­plet­ing their takeover in July. “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 (TTA),” read a state­ment from Birm­ing­ham.

“It means that, as a club, we have new own­ers - and 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.”

Suen, who is an ex­pert in turn­ing around poorly-per­form­ing stocks and wholly owns Wealthy As­so­ci­ates which owns TTA, has been fi­nanc­ing Birm­ing­ham for some time and he and his com­pany have com­mit­ted them­selves to own­ing the club for a min­i­mum two years.

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