Chinese entrepreneur Yang Yuezhou has taken a 27.37 per cent stake in Birmingham City FC's parent group - deepening the mystery over the football club's future.
A convertible bond deal - wiping out loans for an increased stake in Birmingham International Holdings (BIHL) - saw Mr Yuezhou convert 1.5 billion shares in the company which earlier this month announced higher losses.
Details of the deal remained sketchy but an announcement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange revealed that 1,500,000,000 ordinary shares had been issued by BIHL.
Mr Yuezhou was identified as the shares recipient by Daniel Ivery, of the Often Partisan website which chronicles Blues' activities on and off the field.
Mr Yuezhou, a past vice-chairman of Birmingham International Holdings, has been at the heart of previous loans to Blues' parent group, including £12 million in 2011.
Football finance expert Peter Knowles said: "It appears that Mr Yuezhou has subscribed for 27.37 per cent of the shares by exercising his option and by my calculations for that he must pay £3.6 million.
"The enlarged company was worth around £33 million at the last close of trading. This gives BIHL more breathing space."