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Nov 23, 2012

Paladini's Birmingham takeover uncertain

Birmingham acting chairman Peter Pannu has cast doubt over Gianni Paladini's £30 million bid to buy the club - by announcing the Blues are in advanced negotiations with Hong Kong buyers.

Paladini has been kept waiting for over two weeks regarding his attempted buy-out of Birmingham owner Carson Yeung, who is on trial for alleged money laundering charges in Hong Kong.

The former Queens Park Rangers chairman threatened to pull out of negotiations a week ago, after Pannu denied any negotiations with Paladini.

Paladini has been left reeling by another snub from Pannu in the form of a Birmingham International Holdings Limited statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which suggests the mystery Hong Kong consortium are now in pole position to take charge of the club.

Birmingham's parent company BIHL have admitted to being in talks with three interested parties, which casts further doubt over Paladini's chances of gaining control at St Andrew's.

The statement says: "The negotiation with one of the parties in Hong Kong is at an advanced stage although no conditional binding agreement had been entered into between the parties.

"The transaction, if it proceeds, will constitute a very substantial disposal transaction by the Company under the Listing Rules and will be subject to the approval of the shareholders in a general meeting.

"A detailed announcement will be made as and when appropriate. The Board further wishes to urge the shareholders not to react to speculative media reports and to rely on official announcements.

"Given the fact that confidential non-disclosure agreements had been entered into with three of the parties who are still in pursuit, two in Hong Kong and one in the United Kingdom, it is inappropriate to divulge detailed information of the status of the negotiations.

"The Board wishes to inform the shareholders that the criteria that the Board shall adopt in this disposal would be to identify a new owner who could take BCFC to the next level both in terms of their financial standing, business acumens and overall suitability and the nature of their offer and the overall terms of the offer.

"A balance will be struck between what is the most beneficial for the shareholders and what is the most appropriate for the development of BCFC as the Board acknowledges that football is a business where, inter alia, the aspirations of the fans need to be considered."

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