Hong Kong tycoon buys Birmingham City, pledges new players

Already owning 29% of Premier league team Birmingham City, Hong Kong tycoon Carson Yeung, bought the rest of the English club Monday for 66 millions euros, promising new opportunities and new players.


AFP - Hong Kong tycoon Carson Yeung said Monday he has offered 57.13 million pounds (94.7 million US) to buy English Premier League team Birmingham City, promising money to buy new players.

Yeung, whose Hong Kong-listed Grandtop International has a 29.9 percent stake in the club, said the firm would raise 785 million Hong Kong dollars (100.6 million US) through an open offer of shares for the acquisition.

The businessman's latest attempt to seize control of the newly promoted side came after his first bid in 2007 failed to materialise.    

But he said he was only waiting for the right moment for the takeover.

"The club was relegated (in the (2007/08) season. I bought it this year because it bounced back. It's as simple as that," he told a press conference in Hong Kong.

Yeung said Grandtop had placed a deposit of three million pounds for the offer, which he said was already accepted by shareholders representing approximately 50 percent of the existing issued share capital of the club.

The tycoon said he hoped to attract more talent to the club and encourage exchange between Chinese and overseas players.

He added there was a possibility that he would personally offer five million pounds for team manager Alex McLeish to buy "better players".

He said the acquisition would open up numerous opportunities for his apparel and entertainment company to expand and diversify its business, especially in China.

If successful, the takeover would add to a growing list of foreign club-owners in the English Premier League, which include the American Glazer family at Manchester United and Russian Roman Abramovich at Chelsea.

Vico Hui, the Grandtop's executive director, said he was confident Birmingham City would generate a profit next year.


Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning