Controversial businessman Carson Yeung has confirmed he was looking to take over Birmingham City – despite revelations of prosecutions in 2004 for breaching financial rules in Hong Kong.
Yeung issued a statement through his clothing firm Grandtop International Holdings confirming his latest bid to take overall control at St Andrew’s, two years after his original attempt collapsed.
But the takeover could be blocked by the Premier League’s statutory “fit and proper person” test following disclosures that Yeung was prosecuted by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong five years ago. The Commission said that in 2004 Mr Yeung pleaded guilty to charges of failing to declare his interest in a company called Cedar Base Electronic Ltd.
He was fined and ordered to pay investigation costs.
The Commission is the independent statutory body charged with regulating the securities and futures market in the Far East state.
The prosecutions could prove an obstacle to Yeung’s latest attempt to buy Blues and end the 16-year reign of David Sullivan, David and Ralph Gold and Karren Brady at St Andrew’s.
A statement, issued by Vico Hui Ho Luek, an executive director at Grandtop, said: “The company has approached the board of Birmingham City plc in relation to a possible offer by the company for the shares in Birmingham City plc which the company does not already own.”
Mystery still surrounds how Mr Yeung, City’s biggest shareholder with a 29.9 per cent stake, will finance the proposed £70 million takeover – £20 million up on two years ago.
Grandtop’s market value yesterday was HK $500 million – not thought to be enough to buy Blues outright.
It has been reported that Yeung had found renewed financial backing by enlisting the help of two private Chinese investors.
He is also believed to have approached accountants BDO Stoy Hayward.
Mr Yeung’s original takeover approach two years ago was aborted after he failed to raise the funds.