Tuesday was a good day for Birmingham City. On the pitch at St Andrew’s, the team came back from a goal down to deliver Tony Mowbray’s first win as Blues manager, beating Hull City 2-1 and booking a fourth round FA Cup tie with Leicester City at the end of the month. However, on the other side of the world an announcement made to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange appears to be the next step in the final disconnection of Blues from the Far East.
Late on Monday night, Birmingham Sports Holdings finally posted an announcement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange relating to the sale of part of their stake in Birmingham City to Shelby Companies Limited.
Both Birmingham City and Hong Kong parent company Birmingham Sports Holdings released statements on Wednesday confirming the end to negotiations with Maxco Capital Ltd. Both of the statements made took a somewhat “bitter ex” theme, with the wording suggesting it was incumbent owners who terminated talks rather than Maxco.
With the football season pretty much over, I wanted to turn my attention back to the ownership of Birmingham City. Although the departure of Ren Xuandong from his roles as CEO and Director of the club has been welcomed almost universally by Blues fans, I think there are still some reservations over how the ownership of the club will run the club going forward.
On Friday, Birmingham Sports Holdings made an announcement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that they had issued just over a billion new shares in the company to repay debts to two third party lenders. An investigation into the two companies and their owners has shown that both companies are connected both to the elusive Mr King, Wang Yaohui.
Birmingham Sports Holdings broke the news on Friday afternoon that they are proposing to sell a 25% stake in BCFC to Oriental Rainbow Investment Ltd, a British Virgin Islands investment vehicle owned by current BSH shareholder Vong Pech. The deal will see Vong Pech become the largest shareholder in the club among other changes.
While most fans were celebrating the arrival of Aitor Karanka as Blues’ new Head Coach on Friday, Birmingham Sports Holdings also made an announcement to the stock exchange which can be seen as positive news. The holding company voluntarily confirmed to the stock exchange that it intends to acquire a medical service business in Japan to continue to strengthen the Group’s profitability.
While Blues secured their Championship status for another year by winning away at Rotherham on Monday, Birmingham Sports Holdings have been doing what it can to secure its own financial status on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Just prior to announcing their interim results on Thursday, Birmingham Sports Holdings also announced a rights issue in an attempt to raise HK$297.7million. The purpose of the rights issue is to reduce the frightening levels of borrowing within the company and to provide more working capital to keep the company going.
Announcements were made by both Birmingham City FC and Birmingham Sports Holdings today that have financial ramifications for the immediate future of the football club. BCFC confirmed that they have sold naming rights to both St Andrew’s and the Wast Hills training complex while BSH have confirmed another share subscription deal that sees Dragon Villa become their second biggest shareholder.