Chi­nese group com­plete takeover of Birm­ing­ham

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

CHI­NESE group Tril­lion Tro­phy Asia (TTA) com­pleted their lengthy takeover of English club Birm­ing­ham City on Oc­to­ber 17, mak­ing it the third club based in the city to fall un­der Chi­nese own­er­ship.

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 per­cent of the shares of Birm­ing­ham’s par­ent com­pany Birm­ing­ham In­ter­na­tional Hold­ings Lim­ited (BIHL) – Yueng had been chair 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.

Ye­ung’s pe­riod in charge was a roller­coaster ride with the club win­ning the 2011 League Cup – their first piece of sil­ver­ware since the same tro­phy in 1963 – but in the same sea­son be­ing rel­e­gated from the money-spin­ning Premier League.

The former hair­dresser’s per­sonal for­tunes also nose­dived when he was con­demned to six years in jail for money laun­der­ing in Hong Kong.

Birm­ing­ham is sixth in the Cham­pi­onship and hosted bot­tom side Rother­ham yes­ter­day. –

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