Often Partisan

BCFC Statement: BIH in talks with British/North American Consortium

Birmingham City Football Club have today released a statement confirming talks with a British consortium backed by a North American investment fund. The statement, which quotes BCFC Acting Chairman Peter Pannu saying that specific details couldn’t be released due to non-disclosure agreements and HKSE regulations.

Suffice it to say, that statement threw me personally a curveball for two reasons. Firstly, I didn’t expect any further news to be released by BIH or BCFC following yesterday’s announcements for a week or so and had said as much to a contact in the local media; and secondly I hadn’t heard anything at all about a North American investment fund – no one I had spoken to had mentioned anything to do with that. I had said previously that gossip and talks were conflicting and that goes to prove just how much stuff out there was wide of the mark. I’m sure there are those out there who will see this as confirmation that I don’t know what I’m talking about and they’re right – I can only report on what I hear and it appears I hadn’t heard much accurate information.

It has to be seen as good news though – particularly for those who wanted to see British involvement in new owners. The statement doesn’t say anything has been agreed and says that a lot is to be resolved but it confirms that talks are ongoing – much as yesterday’s statement did and gives a little bit more hope to people that change is coming. I think the news will also be good for Peter Pannu, who I understand sees it as his final task to try to bring in a local consortium to buy the club.

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68 Responses to “BCFC Statement: BIH in talks with British/North American Consortium”

  • Kazakblue says:

    Any OP contributors in North America know about this group, any roumers??
    Well done again Dan, 6.00pm here in the midle of Kazakhstan, you are cheering up my day no end.

  • ian says:

    lets just hope the playing side of things can be addressed as soon as a handshake has taken place.
    i won’t buy a ticket until new owners are in charge of the day to day running of BCFC

  • Andy W says:

    Dan, no-one saw this coming, so don’t beat yourself up. You are consistent in stating that people should not read too much into anything you post unless you are able to evidence it, and that’s good enough for me. And at least you will always try to keep us updated, which is more than some are able to do. Well done, keep it up! As far as the news goes, it does seem positive……………

  • AussieBlue says:

    KKR

  • Big Al says:

    I think Pannu saw it as his final task to throw you said curve-ball Dan. This website seems to get a mention everytime I hear him interviewed. Will you be exchanging xmas cards when this is all over?

  • bluearmyfaction says:

    Is this one of the two British consortia, now with more backing? Or is this someone completely fresh? I can see that someone thinking about getting involved might have suddenly decided to throw their hat in when activity started to ramp up.
    One thing that might put a spanner in the works is that Reading are up for sale for £1 plus their £35m debts. Right now, they may be seen as a better option.

    • The Francis Fake says:

      I want to be optimistic about this consortium and almost any alternative the the existing regime is preferable. My only concern here is that whoever is the UK based person/s fronting this bid up is may well not have much financial clout and therefore future investment into the club will have to requested/negotiated with a faceless USA based investment group. In saying that I can only see such a group getting involved if their ambitions are to get us in the Prem. Any investment decisions going forward would I imagine be based on a common sense strategy rather than from an individual owner who is doing it for fun or is on an ego trip.

    • The Francis Fake says:

      I want to be optimistic about this consortium and almost any alternative the the existing regime is preferable. My only concern here is that whoever is the UK based person/s fronting this bid up is may well not have much financial clout and therefore future investment into the club will have to requested/negotiated with a faceless USA based investment group. In saying that I can only see such a group getting involved if their ambitions are to get us in the Prem. Any investment decisions going forward would I imagine be based on a common sense strategy rather than from an individual owner who is doing it for fun or is on an ego trip.

      • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

        Absolutely brilliant news, all the doubters should now show the new owners that like them we are prepared to put our hands in our pockets too so start renewing your STs and welcome the new owners in style.

        Cant believe that we have concrete proof now of a change of ownership and still people aint happy.

        • ian says:

          nothing signed, nothing settled.
          24 percent share, and we don’t know who it is.
          look at man utd’s debts before getting too excited.
          so far it looks like we are on the up.
          but if this falls through, how long to administration?
          lets sign 11 bcfc first team players enhanced by loan players before we believe we are the next man city

          • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

            Misery no.2

          • Hector says:

            Emperor’s Clothes. Ever heard of them??

          • ian says:

            dare say my grand dad thought blues were on the up in the late fifties, my old man thought vincent, vowden and greenhoff were the dog’s.
            myself francis latchford hatton.
            what i have learned is enjoy the days in the sun cuz they don’t come too often at blues.
            but never leave your waterproof’s too far away cuz it never stays dry for very long.

        • Mrs Crosby says:

          I’m very happy with this news today. However. I won’t even consider renewing until it’s signed and a done deal. This is not concrete proof of a change of ownership. At best, its’s an indication that a group are interested in looking to buy our club but are being restricted to up to 24%. In talks means just that. It wouldn’t be totally unexpected if these talks lead nowhere. I’m not a doubter I’m a realist. You go ahead and renew on Friday when season ticket prices are released. I’ll wait and see.

          • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

            I hope you don’t renew you miserable sod

            At least nowhere near me (that’s if you even go at all)

          • Mrs Crosby says:

            I can’t work out if you don’t read very well or don’t understand what people put on here? You personally and aggressively attack everyone who doesn’t agree with you 100%. I’ve seen your type so maybe you do sit near me.

          • Mr Crosby says:

            Boring one eyed tw@. Change the record ffs.

          • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

            Why? Urging the people to back the club irritating you?

            Wonder why?

          • Mr Crosby says:

            Not at all, you keep giving the owners money and never see any changes. Carry on.

          • Mr Crosby says:

            How many season tickets do you buy?

          • Mrs Crosby says:

            I’m the opposite….. See my first sentence.

        • Lesley Palmer says:

          Yes isn’t it amazing – just what people want to hear just a little while after ST’s have gone on sale – the timing couldn’t have been better if it had just been planned to get the renewals in – what a shame that the confidentiality agreement prevent any details of who it is being announced. Still shares are up (and down) on the announcement and people may be rushing out to renew their ST’s so it is all good.

    • TheJudge says:

      Or us at up to £20-25m and minimal debt… – save £10m

      please correct me if I’m wrong?

      • bluearmyfaction says:

        No, you’re right, but we probably need more than £10m to get us up to Reading’s state. Having said that it’s odds on Reading are making heavy losses. Then again, it’ll be easier to attract players to a London-ish club…

  • Roy Smith says:

    Without wishing to be a wet blanket I am not getting excited until I know who the British bidders are, think Coventry City, of course it could equally be real Blues fans. It is difficult to be optimistic after all that has gone over the last couple of years

  • Luke Bowen says:

    Sorry, I can’t resist some mindless speculation:

    When Trevor Francis left the club in 2001, he rather cryptically said that this wasn’t the end of the story. I remember he said something along the lines of, “I’ve been here as a player, as a manager, and I’ve got a feeling I’ll be back here in another capacity at some point in the future…”

  • Kazakblue says:

    Hopefully it may be Berkshire Hathaway as the North American Investment Company, or at the very least, one of its satellite companies, I live in hope.

  • jim71 says:

    The Americans may see City as a better investment than Villa, with a much lower initial cost, and may want to look again at the City of Birmingham stadium idea.

    • DMR24 says:

      I’ve never liked the City of Birmingham Stadium idea at all. St Andrews is our home and three sides are top class. I remember reading that if we rebuild the Main stand it would bring capacity up to 37,000 and that would probably do us. Could be even higher if the Tilton got converted to safe standing.

  • weymouth bluenose says:

    good work Dan, what is your opinion of the big increase in shares being traded, could it be the potential new owners buying them up?

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I would like to remind everyone that I commented a few days ago that “An informed source says it is a British consortium that is the bidder”.

    • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

      Yes I said as much further down. Well done mate. Any ideas of the people involved? I have indications from people as to who they are.

  • richard66 says:

    I’ve just had a look at the top listed American hedge funds and there is a company called maples who are one of the largest investment fund groups in the US and around the world. interestingly they have investment offices in the caymen isles…..where BHIL are registered !! mite be nothing but worth a mention I thought

  • richard66 says:

    hi Paul,
    not sure how much they are worth but if they are in the top 20 listed hedge funds in the states you are talking silly billions

    • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

      Silly feckin billions! Oh yeah baby come to daddy!

      It’s here! That day has come.

      Man City will be our nursery club.

      GOD BLESS AMERICA

  • Dave Clamp says:

    am i missing something here where does pannu say anything other than buying part of the club ? i want to be possitive but theres no mention of a takeover just an investment

    • Andy W says:

      Dave. I think if you read the actual statement given to the HKSE it states….”if a disposal was to be agreed, only up to a 24% interest in BCFC should be disposed of “. I read that as meaning someone wants to buy us, but the board will only agree to the sale in tranches? I think if it had been investment only, they would have said more? Just my interpretation though. You could be right.

  • Robert Hughes says:

    I am not sure why everyone is getting so excited about a “North American Investment Fund”. Any sensible purchaser, British or otherwise, will be looking to spread the risk and lever in as much capital they can for the purchase (both of Club and, hopefully, players). I think that the British Consortium angle is the most hopeful sign that we might actually have potential owners who will care about the long term interests of the Club and not just making a quick buck.

  • Roger says:

    Pannu has not always been completely open, honest and transparent in the past and so we have to treat his statements with some question. He only says that he is in advanced talks with a British led consortium, he does not say who else or what has happened to the other three interested parties.
    At least it shows that it is the beginning of the end of this shower and we can look to the future with some hope.

    • SCoy says:

      Mr Pannu is a professional businessman, he, BIHL, BCFC would not realise false information.

      • Roger says:

        You are quite right and I did not intend any slur on any of their professionalism, I apologise for any hint that they may be less than completely honest in their dealings

  • bvb says:

    i never thought that it would be so complicated right to the end i think the trouble with brum its just so small every little words spread about all to quickly

  • BluBoi14 says:

    PP could be throwing a curveball to take Dan off the trail.

  • Oldburyblue says:

    Investment Fund Managers are interested in 1 thing and 1 thing only….profit. Let us just hope that whoever they are, they believe in “speculate to accumulate”. I will judge them on their investment in the Team and not until. We have heard promises so many times before.

    • beegeeblueboy says:

      Exactly. If they don’t spend they won’t increase the value of the club and won’t make a profit when they sell

  • Euston 9:15. says:

    Could BOB RICH be interested ?
    The Vile were creaming he was in Brum & was going to buy lerner out.

  • Pete says:

    Oh My God, the amount of speculation which has then created more speculation is untrue. Facts as we know are Pannu says he has chatted with a British consortium. They do not have enough money themselves by the look of it, as they have investment bank involved. Nothing is agreed and nobody knows the motives. So lets just wait and see…… not have us back in the prem, etc. It could be the new potential owners have an ambition to bring stability and then sell in future, so enough already with blind speculation.

  • Mark Gibbs says:

    I have just seen gossip that Bob Rich’s plane was at BHX at the weekend, the Vile fan’s thought he was looking at them, but given his past record, this could be interesting http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1354915/US-billionaire-Bob-Rich-sponsors-lowly-English-soccer-club-wife-buys-lordship.html
    Sorry for the link Dan!

    • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

      Don’t want him Mark cos in that article he said he won’t spend no dough. No good.

      Get the £billions in like Rich said.

      And oh where has Tom gone? I want to give him a piece of my mind for convincing me we had Al Thani on the way

  • Luke Bowen says:

    If the takeover is being financed to some degree by an investment fund, then they must believe that Birmingham City is a good investment vehicle. This wouldn’t be an issue if we were talking about some bored Arab with a couple of hundred million to spare, but investment fund managers don’t go into deals looking to have a laugh at any expense.

    On the one hand, they might be working on the basis that Blues is capable of generating an operating profit. Even Premier League clubs rarely turn operating profits, although the new TV deal might change that to some degree, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense as an investment principle. I guess they might have an idea for marketing Blues in the US. I don’t know.

    On the other hand, they might be thinking that they can buy Blues (or a large part of it) whilst the club is valued at £20-£25m and, through prudent investment, re-sell the club down the line for a healthy profit. For example, they could have a five-year plan that would see the club return to the Prem, have a younger, more valuable playing staff and also be a less-complicated proposition for potential purchasers than at present. No onward chain, so to speak.

    Either way I guess is good for us, unless you’re on of those who wants a rush of Galactico signings and Fabio Capello as manager. One thing we can be sure of with an investment fund calling the shots is no rash spending.

    • Oldbluenose says:

      Luke mate, I think I am turning into a bloody parrot, chuckle,
      Sound, common sense post mate, Either way we cannot lose [ short term ], The club being restructured to give us a sound base, – can only be good, !!.

  • Gary says:

    Birmingham City: Manager’s outrage after wage cutbacks
    BY TOM SMYTH ⋅ MAY 27, 2014 ⋅ POST A COMMENT
    FILED UNDER BIRMINGHAM CITY, CARSON YEUNG, LEE CLARK
    Birmingham City manager Lee Clark has been left shocked and angered after being told that his wage budget will be quartered this season, reports The Mirror.

    Clark has been told by the board that he must reduce costs at the club, and whilst the future of the club is still in doubt, he will only have a quarter of last season’s wage budget available this term.

    Clark has been in charge at Birmingham since 2012
    The club is up for sale for around £25 million and the board have only allocated Clark around £5000 per week for his wage budget.

    He has also been told that the squad must include no more than 24 players and that he cannot sign any players so must rely on loan signings.

    A similar policy was introduced at the start of last year and this has been dubbed as one of the reasons why the club were almost relegated last season.
    Birmingham City: Manager’s outrage after wage cutbacks
    BY TOM SMYTH ⋅ MAY 27, 2014 ⋅ POST A COMMENT
    FILED UNDER BIRMINGHAM CITY, CARSON YEUNG, LEE CLARK
    Birmingham City manager Lee Clark has been left shocked and angered after being told that his wage budget will be quartered this season, reports The Mirror.

    Clark has been told by the board that he must reduce costs at the club, and whilst the future of the club is still in doubt, he will only have a quarter of last season’s wage budget available this term.

    Clark has been in charge at Birmingham since 2012
    The club is up for sale for around £25 million and the board have only allocated Clark around £5000 per week for his wage budget.

    He has also been told that the squad must include no more than 24 players and that he cannot sign any players so must rely on loan signings.

    A similar policy was introduced at the start of last year and this has been dubbed as one of the reasons why the club were almost relegated last season.

    Clark is said to be outraged at the news and will most likely do all he can to persuade the board to change their minds.

  • Lloyd Franklin says:

    am i missing something, where does pannu say the british/americans are the proposed bidders, he only states they are in advanced talks, they could also be in advanced talks with the other 4 bidders,but mentioning the word “british” gives many of us a sense of hope that may just tilt the season ticket sales.Sceptical, yes , trust a single word from pannus mouth a man who for a living twists things said to suit his own agenda….i think not..

  • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

    Aint slept so well in weeks. The futures bright, we’re almost there. Need a few names though now Dan so see what you can dig out mucker.

  • AussieBlue says:

    Lacklustre day for BIHL on HKSE….shares down 5.5% although volumes still reasonable. Someone in the market isn’t all that excited but sees value around 13 cents HK


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