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SBD Global/February 8, 2013/Franchises

New 'Mystery Bidder' Emerges In Takeover Of Championship Side Birmingham City

A "new, mystery bidder has entered the frame" to become owner of  League Championship side Birmingham City, according to Colin Tattum of the BIRMINGHAM MAIL. The club's parent company, Birmingham Int'l Holdings Ltd., announced to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that they "had been approached by a sports management company." The identity of the company, and the consortium they are fronting, is "yet unknown" (BIRMINGHAM MAIL, 2/7). BLOOMBERG's Bob Bensch reported Birmingham Int'l Holdings said in a statement that "an unidentified sports management company indicated on Jan. 23 and Jan. 31 it would be able to lead a group that would consider buying the club." The statement read, "The company’s lawyers are currently in contact with the interested party with the view to clarifying matters of this approach" (BLOOMBERG, 2/7). The BBC reported former QPR Chair Gianni Paladini had "previously admitted his desire to lead a consortium to take over the club." Even though the club is not officially for sale, Blues Chair Peter Pannu revealed last November that they "were in talks with two parties interested in buying the club." Birmingham has not published its financial figures for the past two years, and major shareholder Carson Yeung is "awaiting trial in Hong Kong having been charged with money laundering" (BBC, 2/7).
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