Often Partisan

China Diaries

I wrote a piece on the blog last week about Carson Yeung purchasing more shares in Birmingham International Holdings, via his company Great Luck Management. More information has now come out into the public domain which I thought I should share with you.

As required by the HK Stock Exchange, Carson has to file a notice when he purchases or sells shares within the club. As a matter of course, I try to keep an eye on them as and when they are produced to help disseminate information, and to give people a better idea of the facts involved with the holding company. It’s gratifying to see that I wasn’t too far wrong in what I stated, in that the shares were bought at HK$0.200 each, which works out to HK$63million (or a shade over £5million). Also from this notice, we can see that Carson paid cash for these shares – the code 301 shows that – and that he bought the shares “off-exchange” – ie not in the normal trading hours.

I think a couple of things further can be inferred from this deal. It’s worth noting for instance that it wasn’t Carson buying the shares, but his company Great Luck Management. This I think is important, as it means his company paid the £5million cash, rather than Carson directly. Now this is strictly conjecture, as his company is based in the British Virgin Islands and thus is a closed book to all but Carson, but I believe that this was done because the company may be able to borrow money either secured on something Carson doesn’t have, or in a manner that Carson cannot do openly. I’m in no way saying anything illegal has gone on; more that it’s easier for him to borrow some money from someone he knows, for example Dr Pollyana Chu via his company and keeping it quiet than it would be to do so if he was buying the shares in his own name. I must say again, this is strictly conjecture, but it makes sense to me to do it this way. It’s also possible that GLM has assets under it’s control that Carson can use as collateral; again we have no way of knowing but that again would mean it would make more sense for Carson to do it this manner.

How does this affect BIH and by extension BCFC? In the short term, it means Carson has more control over both – he now owns almost a quarter of BIH and therefore just over a quarter of BCFC. Should the “best offer” placing of 1.1billion shares go through, Carson will still maintain a fairly decent slice of the pie whilst other shareholdings are diluted. It doesn’t mean that BIH or BCFC have any more cash; what it probably does mean however is that Carson isn’t quite as skint as the mainstream media in the UK have made out.

Carson himself clearly is enjoying the high life. One of the few articles I have found recently about him has been this one where he has hosted various people from Chivas Regal in Hong Kong to another gala dinner, whereby they drank “Chivas Regal Legend” in honour of our glorious leader taking us to Carling Cup victory. Let’s hope he can raise another glass to Premiership survival.


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