Hammonds advises on Brum football deal

Hammonds has acted on its second Premier League football deal in a fortnight, advising Hong Kong tycoon Carson Yeung Ka-Shing on his purchase of a third of Birmingham City FC.

The firm advised Ka-Shings’ GrandTop International Holdings, a small-scale clothing company with an annual turnover of less than £5m, on the acquisition of 29.9 per cent of the issued shares of Birmingham City plc, the owner of Birmingham City FC.

GrandTop agreed to pay £14.94m for the stake, making it the largest single shareholder in the club, which was promoted to the Premier League in April.

Birmingham corporate partner Michael Clifford led the Hammonds team advising GrandTop. Clifford said: “We’ve had a number of dealings in the football world and we had an existing relationship with Seymour Pierce, the financial advisers, so we came recommended.”

According to reports in Hong Kong media, Yeung only acquired his 16.67 per cent stake in GrandTop on 22 June in a deal worth just £4m. Why he has purchased his stake in Birmingham through the clothing company, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, is at this stage unclear.

The Birmingham City deal follows less than two weeks after Hammonds advised on the £81.6m takeover of Manchester City FC.

The firm acted for purchaser UK Sports Investments, which is indirectly owned by the family of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by a military coup last September and is facing allegations of fraud and corruption relating to his time in office.

Michael Clifford added: “The deals reflect the success of our corporate finance practice integrating with our sports law team.”