Often Partisan

Carson, the Sale of BCFC and the HK Press

The big news this week was the official confirmation from Birmingham International Holdings that the company had entered talks with two potential bidding parties for the sale of Birmingham Cit which came via an official announcement made to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by CEO, MD and Executive Director Peter Pannu.

It’s something that has been discussed at length on these shores and I thought it would be interesting to look at the take on the story from the Hong Kong press. As you’d expect, despite Blues only being a Championship side it was still fairly big news in the former Colony with reports coming from all the main news outlets. However, what I thought was interesting was despite their close proximity to Carson and BIH the press out in HK had no real idea or further story than has been reported over here.

For example, the Hong Kong Daily News published this story which didn’t add much to the bare bones of the announcement except to note that many Blues fans want to see Carson gone. Likewise, this story from Wen Wei Po mentions the bare bones and in addition notes the Paladini consortium… but nothing else.

Indeed, in the days that have followed that announcement there has been absolutely nothing further from anyone out there and news about Carson has dwindled back down to nothing once again. In my eyes, this means one of two things – no one knows what is going on with BIH or nobody cares about what is going on. I think it’s a little bit of both; whilst some sections of the media are only too happy to stick the boot into Carson I don’t think many want to make much of an effort to do so. Whilst there has been a lot of speculation around the various forums and social media about potential buyers I don’t think anyone has any real idea about what is going on bar Pannu and Yeung. Unfortunately, it’s not a saga I can see ending any time soon either.

One immediate worry for Carson is that he’s back in court on Wednesday as there has been another twist in the repossession of his house. There has been a filing from two women – believed to be his mother and wife – that say that they have a financial interest in the house and that Carson had no right to put a mortgage against it as he only owned 25% of the property.

I have to admit I think it’s doomed to failure and that it’s nothing more than another delaying tactic so Carson can hold out a bit longer for his property. Documents I have obtained from the HK Land Registry show the owner of the property as Success Orient Investments Ltd, and the documentation I have obtained from the HK Company Registry shows that company were the ones to agree a mortgage with the bank in question against 1/9th of the property for HK$50mil (valuing the property at HK$450mil or approx £36.1mil.

The company registry of HK also shows that Success Orient Investments has one director – Carson Yeung – and one shareholder. The shareholder, which owns 100% of Success Orient Investments, is a company called Kindever Investments who are based in Shenzhen in the People’s Republic of China. As you can imagine, it’s somewhat more difficult to obtain company documents on a Mainland China entity so I can’t tell you any more about them and I suspect the court case may well hinge on who ultimately owns Kindever.

With there being only seven and a half weeks until the main criminal case I honestly believe that the club will not be sold before Carson stands trial. Whilst I don’t think the trial will affect Blues much I think time is running out for Carson and that the club needs to be sold sooner rather than later – for both his sake and BCFC’s. Only time will tell if that will happen.

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31 Responses to “Carson, the Sale of BCFC and the HK Press”

  • RUPERT says:

    Would any “serious” mainstream potential investor even want to do any business with these people, Carson, Pannu ? I doubt it.

    We are likely to fall into the hands of some from “consortium” I.E another investement type company that no one has ever heard of because they havent existed until they formed to borrow money against the club to actually mortgage it.

    I am afraid I only see trouble. Our best bet would although hard to say be to fall by the wayside that would probably mean relegation, but if the recievers were to sell us perhaps a serious investor will come along?

    Please forget these rumours about the 4 5 or 6th richest Indian in the world as if it was a mega rich person he would have made sure rumours came out so the fans could put pressure on yeung to move quickly and saell up ASAP.

    • Steve-0 says:

      Fans cannot apply the right pressure. Nobody has come forward because NDAs have been signed. Plus it’s a much better plan to remain anonymous until necessary.

  • RUPERT says:

    By the way forgot to mention, this is by far the best site anywhere for good reporting of all Blues news, superb read and factual. A great site thank you for all the hard work you must put in.

    • almajir says:

      Thank you for your kind words.

      With respect to your previous comment; I partially agree in that I think some are caught up with the potential net worth of a new investor – personally, I think that’s immaterial, it’s more down to how much an investor wants to put in to the club in time and money. I’d rather a new owner who wasn’t mega rich but helped rebuild the club properly than someone who is mega-rich but disinterested…

  • Gary says:

    Interesting news from HK this morning, maybe news announced in 14 days or so.
    bcfc.freeforums. Hope it is correct, I believe the poster is a good source of information.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    See this is what I’ve been getting at all along.

    Carson owns a £36 million pound gaff but he doesn’t do what I do and ask the building society for a mortgage he does it through a single director company whos only function is to be a vehicle to buy the house. Does that bar him from personal responsibility in HK law.

    This Kindever is the same as BIH. A nothing company producing no goods or services just a vehicle to manage the club through.

    • almajir says:

      Paul – the thing is it’s not uncommon to do it that way… we might not but we can’t afford fancy tax accountants who can advise how best to buy something and pay less tax on it.

      Likewise with BIH – I don’t get what your problem is with it being a holding company, it’s not exactly uncommon – our previous owners had BCFC PLC and BCFC Ltd, it’s just the way it’s done.

  • alexjhurley says:

    One ray of hope (admittedly I may be clutching strawers here) is the Jan transfer window – New owners will be wanting the deal done by dec31st. How much cash they splash and who they allow to spend it being the more moot points…

    • KeepRightcroydOn says:

      I agree Alexhuxley that it would be beneficial to get the deal done before 31 Dec. This date should also be in the thinking of the bidders – assuming they will have funds available after they’ve shelled out £30m or so to get thier name on the title deeds.

  • motozulu says:

    I have got a horrible sinking feeling that this is all going to go ‘Blues up’.

    Rumours about some mega rich Asian wanting a piece of the action just sounds like so many thousand straws being clutched at – I don’t think that’s going to happen, my best hope is a consortium that, though not funded by a sugar daddy, will at least bring some stability and then maybe we would be more likely to attract more investment. Of course the more likely ecenario is Blues jumping out of the frying pan straight into a hotter fire.

    We all know this is what will happen.

  • Bobthegob says:

    All this makes the Gold/Sullivan era look like good times, it’s true in this case that you don’t know what you’ve got’ til it’s gone.I would much rather have kept the crafty cockneys than this lot.

  • barryfryup says:

    Everything associated with Yeung has been shady since day one, right from when he messed around Sullivan and Gold, couldn’t come up with the money, then paid way over the odds. The fact that he appoints a lawyer as his assistant says it all. I find all this sycophantic “Carson this” and “Carson that” rather distateful – seems to me that you are supporting this guy. I want his association with my club to end asap and hope he gets what’s coming to him.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I note Almajir’s observation that a sale will not take place until afthe CY stands trial. this is the scenario which frightens me. On the day of the trial, we will all be following OP with baited breath only to discover that the case has been deferred for another 6 months, effectively sabotaging any attempts to sell the club. If that were too happen, I really would fear for our future!

  • Paulo says:

    Considering what’s going on with Carson’s mortagage and his imminent appearance for ‘the big one’, I can only think that PP is trying not to do a quick sell either, and is promoting anonimity in the pre-sale talks right now. It’s also more realistic to expect any such takeover in the immediate short term. Think this season is going to see itself out for the most part, as CY and PP are going to want to sell with confidence, and even at the very least, try to keep things calm. Thing is, this should have been addressed the moment CH left, as the slight arrogance has only turned into the harsh reality that BCFC just isn’t competetive enough to hold value ..and he’s lost a lot of money, just like many people do when they gamble, take poor business advice and spend more than they have.

  • Jay Sidney says:

    I don’t know how privy Almajir, as a freelance journalist, would be allowed to be to the really telling “inside” information as far as the sale of BCFC is concerned. I did see recently that Colin Tattum (how much “inside” information is he privy to?) has gone into print saying Blues WILL be sold but obviously no date was given.

    It has been stated by several media sources that several (as many as four including Paladini) buyers have expressed interest in Blues and two of these have signed NDAs.

    Is it time fore very, very cautious optimism (as generally reflected in Almajir’s recent “The Beginning Of The End?” posting, more extremely depressing pessimism of the Rupert stripe or are we somewhere in between because too many facts are still unknown?

  • Jay Sidney says:

    Also, with the nightmarish state what is left of the St Andrew’s board is in, who will decide if any potential buyer of BCFC meets the fit and proper criterion? Would any such decision be left solely in the hands of Carson Yeung or Peter Pannu or is the FA likely to have any sort of intervention?

    • almajir says:

      Anyone who becomes a director of or has a shareholding of 10 per cent in the football club will be subject to the Football League’s fit and proper person test.

      However, that test isn’t that great – only two people have ever failed it.

      • clubclassblue says:

        Wonder if its the same two people interested in BCFC at the moment?
        It pays to ignore all the speculation until something concrete is in place, but then what else would we do on these footie free weekends?

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Can’t see a great outcome in any of this for CY , just hope PP will defend the interests of BCFC in any agreed sale of the club..

    In the meantime we need an upturn in the onfield performances, as this is still the main show in town. Don’t want to be involved in a relegation battle by Christmas..

  • AR says:

    I will be very happy when the club has been sold; even if the new owners aren’t ideal, they are unlikely to be skint. CY has put a lot of money into purchasing & running BCFC, but as we all know it was spent unwisely. I am also not a sycophant but he won us a major trophy at Wembley and in doing so has put himself in a precarious position. As far as BCFC is concerned, he has been very foolish but I believe he tried his best and I will be very surprised if he took anything from the club. At the last set of accounts he had lent the club millions.

  • Tony Knight says:

    Interesting the reference to due diligence in electronic format – normally teams of accountants pore over the physical books making sure things really do add up – to me this suggests this is being done at arms length – and POTENTIALLY quickly.

  • Carson Yeung says:

    Thanks for the memories guys!

  • Jay Sidney says:

    I too noticed the electronic format comment. I know we live in the era of very fast communication but could important documents be missed here if what Tony suggests re a rushed arms length job is true? The very last thing Blues need is to be put in the hands of people who are no better than the current owners.

  • Another well written, informative and fascinating article but what do any of us actually know in the final analysis? The square root of very little is the honest answer. Whether we all like it or not we will just have to wait and see what transpires in the goodness of time. The one comment I do wholeheartedly agree with is that of Blueboy88 whose sentiments about the requirements for an upturn in onfield performances are ones I totally share. In the end the way the team plays is the only show in town and all this stuff about Mr Yeung, his wife, his daughter, his pet cat still living in his house in Hong Kong, Mr Pannu, anonymous investors, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, Old Uncle Tom Cobbly, the man who went to mow and his dog (WOOF!!!) are just figures of speculation, fantasy and hot air. I’ll be happy just to still be in the Championship come May 2013 and still have a team called Birmingham City to go and support next season but there again I am a very ‘umble person and my needs are small. :-).

    • Ronnie Bluenose says:

      Love the comments Bazza, I too share these sentiments, Onfield play counts for everything right now else we will be League One fodder.

      The future of BCFC is unfortunately not in the fans hands so we must put up and shut up oh and Pray, Wish, Hope for a positive outcome on and off the field of play.

      Keep Right On.

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