Chinese company completes takeover of Birmingham City FC

Updated: 2016-10-19 16:43


  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small

Chinese company completes takeover of Birmingham City FC

Fans pass in front of Birmingham City Football Club's ground, St Andrews stadium. [ROBIN PARKER/BRITISH PHONOGRAPHIC INDUSTRY]

Chinese firm Trillion Trophy Asia has completed its takeover of Birmingham City, making the Championship side the fourth major West Midlands football club to be bought by Chinese owners during the past six months.

The takeover was finalized after the club's holding company, Birmingham International Holdings Limited, resumed trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Monday.

TTA now holds 50.64 percent of BIHL's shares. The company, which is controlled by businessman Paul Suen, purchased the majority stake in a deal that values the club at 12.3 million pounds ($15.1 million), according to the Financial Times.

TTA takes control of the club 16 months into a two-year exclusivity period to arrange the purchase. The takeover officially marks the end of the controversial Carson Yeung era at the club. Yeung, a businessman from Hong Kong, purchased Birmingham City in 2009 for 81 million pounds.

The club enjoyed brief success, winning the 2010-11 Football League Cup before dropping down from the Premier League to the Championship during Yeung's second year at the helm.

Yeung stepped down from all club-related positions in February 2014, a month before receiving a 6-year prison sentence for money laundering.

"Mr Suen and Trillion Trophy Asia have been at the forefront of the restructuring of the holding company, improving our financial health and also investing in the club and team to make us competitive on the pitch and I would like to thank him in particular," club director Panos Pavlakis said in a statement on Monday.

Suen added: "I understand that the recent history of the club has been difficult. But I am very positive that, now we have reached this landmark point, Birmingham City can go from strength to strength."

TTA has pledged to invest 12.7 million pounds on eight to 10 new players, starting this January, during the winter transfer window.

Tony Xia's Recon Group took over Championship side Aston Villa in May. In July, Fosun snapped up Wolverhampton Wanderers. And Chinese businessman Lai Guochuan's Yunyi Guokai Sports Development Limited took control of the Premier League's West Bromwich Albion in August.