Often Partisan

Takeover Talks and Share Speculation

It’s been reported in the Birmingham Mail today that Panos Pavlakis is trying to push forwards the sale of Birmingham City in recent weeks, delivering presentations with finance director Roger Lloyd to various parties in an effort interest someone enough to make a bid.

Tatts goes on to point out the problem BIH have with respect to selling the club is that the holding company will need to satisfy the HKSE that it is more than just a shell post-sale; and that in order to fund a proper diversification of the company, BIH will sell the club in tranches over a period of time.

Share prices rocketed yesterday by 40% with over half a billion shares traded after a relatively quiet few weeks forcing BIH to put out a statement to the HKSE that they had no knowledge of anything that could be fuelling the massive fluctuation. Shares fell by 10% today with 265million traded suggesting that speculators have cashed in profits; no disclosures have been made to the Stock Exchange confirming anyone bought or sold any large percentages in the company but those notices normally take 3-4 days to come through so it is too early to expect anything of that nature. I’m not expecting any real changes at BIH with my contact in HK describing the price increase as “frothy hype”.

The Blues Trust confirmed yesterday that they have received nearly 500 pledges towards their “Community Shares” scheme to buy into the club with nearly £350,000 pledged now with a further £83,000 pledged within a further six months. The figures given show that fans who have contacted them are willing to pledge around £700 each on average – which is in my view pretty amazing – and maybe it will give confidence to other fans that maybe it would be possible for fans to buy a stake in the club when someone does take it over.

If the Trust are to follow the model set by Portsmouth then I would hope that they are following up contact with “high net worth” individuals to push that total significantly upwards. Portsmouth’s Supporters Trust bought out their club by a combination of pledges from ordinary fans coupled with seven HNWs putting in money to be the spearhead of the bid. I’m intrigued by an idea postulated by Tilton Rifle on the smallheathalliance forum where he said that fans with some social media savvy should put together a package to entice potential investors to buy into the club – ie doing something positive to try to help the situation rather than protesting the lack of action. I know that there are fans out there who know how to make audio-visual presentations and coupled with fans with knowledge of design and a good social media marketing campaign it is a potential way fans could make a difference.

With Carson’s confiscation hearing that was scheduled for today adjourned pending his appeal the status quo has very much been retained and it’s now down to BIH to make the next move. I get the impression that if the holding company cannot attract any kind of investment into themselves then disposal of the club will become even more protracted – which isn’t good for anyone, be it the club, BIH or the fans.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

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