Often Partisan

Who is Liu Xingcheng?

edit February 18 2013 – unfortunately, this isn’t the correct Liu Xingcheng. I have left this post up for archive purposes however.

Who is Liu Xingcheng? Many Blues fans won’t have even heard of him, yet he owns 11.26% of Birmingham City – in other words, the second largest shareholder of the club. Yet for a man with a near £6.5mil stake in Birmingham International Holdings, there isn’t much information about him. I’ve spent some time trying to track him down.

The picture above is the most likely candidate for our mysterious shareholder. His name is Liu Xingcheng (obviously), and he is a lawyer based in the Chinese capital, Beijing. He specialises in real estate, banking and financial law in the main – which would fit in with the majority of Blues directors being real estate types. He’s also well connected on the mainland, and a respected author of various essays on law. I’ve emailed him to ask him if he does indeed own a 11.66% stake in BIH, but I don’t expect a reply.

With Carson facing a possible fourteen years incarceration if he is found guilty, it’s important for major shareholders like Mr Liu (whoever he is) to step forwards now and ensure that BIH (and by extension Blues) are not dragged down with Carson. As much as Carson has not been convicted, I can’t help but think his arrest and subsequent restrictions since being placed on bail are going to restrict how BIH operates. The shareholders have the legal option to boot Carson from his position as President of BIH, and to appoint someone else to ensure that the office is properly fulfilled. I think there is a duty to the shareholders from the remaining members of the board to ensure that the company is run properly, and if it’s possible Carson cannot do that then they must recall him.

Mr Liu isn’t on the board of directors currently – which is quite amazing bearing in mind his holding within the company in comparison to other major shareholders. He’s been silent ever since he’s bought shares and any attempt by reporters to find out more info on him from the holding company have been rebuffed. The problem is his continued silence isn’t doing us any favours – if other major shareholders can step forwards and publicly announce that they will be doing what they can to ensure BIH continues to operate properly, then maybe people won’t feel so jittery about the current situation – especially if they promise to inject cash into the company.

With all sorts of rumours doing the rounds, such as Carson’s assets being frozen (they haven’t been yet – there is an application but no judgement), it’s imperative that those in the position to do so steady the ship. I’m not saying that they should dump in a load of money so Chris Hughton can go crazy in the transfer market; what I am saying is that they should make it clear that things are in place to ensure that BIH won’t go into administation. A simple guarantee to underwrite cashflow for the next 12 months (such as given by Carson when there were problems with the last set of accounts) would be a good start. Whether this happens or not remains to be seen.

nb corrected stake amounts based on correct information (thanks Billy Blue)

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20 Responses to “Who is Liu Xingcheng?”

  • I.roth says:

    Good post. Why, as you say other shareholders dont come forward to protect their interest in BIH is a bit concerning. The management at Blues must be very anxious. how is Hughton to attract players when they read our leader has been arrested. It’s all very well for some fans to want Carson to sell up the worry is who would buy?

  • Billy Blue says:

    What percentage does he own? You’ve written two different ones! KRO

    • almajir says:

      That’s cos you didn’t quite read it properly.

      He owns 14.22% of BIH. BIH owns 96.58% of BCFC, so Mr Liu owns 13.74% of BCFC.

      It is imperative to remember BIH does not equal BCFC.

      • Billy Blue says:

        Cheers almajir, thanks for that. Who owns the other 3.42% of BCFC then?

        • almajir says:

          Shareholders who didn’t sell up to Carson. Carson never pursued the compulsory purchase of all shares when he completed his purchase – the board realised that some people held shares for sentimental value rather than anything else and that it would be a bad PR move for them to force them out.

          • Billy Blue says:

            Cheers again almajir.
            Carson didn’t want bad PR – ROFL
            That must have been the only time he hasn’t got himself bad PR!

            Still seems a bit strange though – can those who still hold, still sell to whoever if they want? If so, how would they do it?
            In effect though, wouldn’t these shares now be redundant?
            What happens if another buyer comes in and wants to buy BIHL? Surely they wouldn’t just own 96.58% of BCFC, or would there be a compulsory time limit set, by any new buyer, for outstanding holders to sell their shares, then make any outstanding that were still left after that, null and void?

            So many questions and so little time ;-)

          • almajir says:

            Honest answer – I don’t know

  • Merill says:

    Mr. Xingcheng brought almost 15% of BIH for £4.8m so that would make BIH worth less than £26m in total. That is ridiculous since Blues would cost more than that!

  • TimBluenoseRedditch says:

    If 40,000 Bluenoses (that’s regular attendance + speculated armchair) parted with £1000 each we’d nearly have enough to buy the club……just a thought ;-)

  • TimBluenoseRedditch says:

    Oh, plus some well off, private investors. Like Jasper Carrot who made a mint after selling his share in Celador!

  • chris says:

    According to the Financial Times, BIH’s current market capitalisation is £47.65 million (HK$614.27 million) on 13.6.11 , a come down on the 80 mill he paid for blues plus the assets bih hold (property etc).
    as stated before why don’t we buy any shares that come to market and slowly own the club.
    i would say 2000 pounds each from 20000 of us wouldn’t be far away especially once the shares start trading again as they will probably fall further.
    3000 pounds each and we should have enough to pay most of the debts.
    vile mate still has a blues share , if i had known i would have done the same and kept some of mine, but the share buy back stated they would be compulsory purchased.
    he also still gets the account statements.

  • chris says:

    hope i win the euro lott tonight 166 mill should buy the club??

  • Petee says:

    I tried to use this internet thingumummy to try to find out who owns what. Round and round I went but eventually thought I’d solved it. Can’t find it again (natch) but one site stated that 5 parties (Mr Liu + ?) each owned 14 point odd % of BIH, i.e. the part not owned by Carson & Vico. Each of these individuals was linked to Kingston Financials, aka Pollyana Chu and hubby. Kingston owns 2 hotels + casinos and seems to be worth pots of money but is more interested in making money than watching football. The question is, if they lose their frontman/football fan (Carson) is Kingston interested enough to want to keep BC or will they cut their losses and dump it? Or speculate to accummulate and reap the rewards of an Europa cup run?!! DreaminRightOn

    • almajir says:

      Kingston owned 14% whilst the share issue went through. They no longer own that; I’ve seen suggestion that they have an interest in the club but I have not seen them on any shareholder lists recently.

  • Petee says:

    Eureka! Found the site deep in the murky depths of The Birmingham Mail (appropriate smiley face) http://forums.birminghammail.net/viewtopic.php?t=33280. So, Kingston owns (at arms length) BIH, right? Or has something (else) changed since January?

  • Petee says:

    Appreciate what your saying and having finally got to end of thread I referred to I can see my confusion is down to some double counting by firms owning each other and same shares! Why make everything so opaque? All may be possible in the neverneverland of Peter Pan, Pollyanna, Dorothy and Toto. How long before we find the (fake?) wizard behind the curtain and will the (Golden Resorts/Kngston) pot of gold at the end of the rainbow be available to BC, eventually? Could Tinkerbell play on the left wing? DRO

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