Often Partisan

Two Year Exclusivity Deal for Trillion Trophy Asia

Birmingham International Holdings have announced to the HKSE that Trillion Trophy Asia have been granted an exclusivity period of 2 YEARS to buy Birmingham City FC.

The announcement which was made at 6:08am HK time confirms that the period of exclusivity for Trillion Trophy to “consider and ascertain it proposed investment and for the Parties to identify, and mutually acknowledge and agree, the basic principle terms and conditions which would serve as the bases [sic] for the preparation of binding agreements and other restructuring documentation in relation to the investment.”

The period of exclusivity began 19 June 2015 and runs until the deal is done or called off by both parties.

As part of this period of exclusivity, Trillion Trophy have made available a loan of HK$153million secured on St Andrew’s and have deposited £880,000 as security with for the loan facilities granted by HSBC to the club.

As I understand it from land registry documents, HSBC had a legal charge on St Andrew’s and so I think that by depositing this money, TTA have now taken that debt over from HSBC and have created a situation whereby HSBC will be willing to lend BCFC more money. HSBC withdrew overdraft facilities of £7million in August 2011 following the arrest of Carson Yeung.

As of yet we still do not know who Trillion Trophy are as there is no detail in the announcement. However, Ernst and Young are continuing to abide by the monthly updates as per the Takeover Code in Hong Kong and as such we will hear again about this deal no later than July 25.

There is no detail in the announcement with respect to the legal action pursued by Peter Pannu recently.

From my own point of view, there are a couple of things we can take from this. Firstly – this an extraordinarily long period of exclusivity. What it does is shut down any potential interference from any other company or investor looking to buy into BCFC. For example, this means that Carson cannot propose an alternative company to Trillion Trophy Asia now for two years to buy into BCFC (although no doubt he will challenge this exclusivity when he is back in court with respect to his claim against BIH going into receivership on 31 July).

There have been rumours of other people trying to shoehorn themselves into a deal with EY of late and it also stops that. By ponying up this £12.5million in loan facility, TTA have negotiated themselves into a position of strength – and they have been able to secure it against the one thing that BCFC own.

As I have said previously, Trillion Trophy Asia is going to be an investment vehicle based in a tax haven such as BVI or Bermuda – which is why we cannot find anything about them online. As the situation develops BIH will have to confirm the names of people behind TTA but one thing is now for sure – they’re in the driving seat for now.

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82 Responses to “Two Year Exclusivity Deal for Trillion Trophy Asia”

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    A few points:

    1/ this gives both Trillion time to pull out if the results of exhumed bodies is troublesome. Surely all the skeletons are out now?

    2/ surely it makes sense for BIH to loan some of this to BCFC for player acquisitions?

    3/ if Trillion pull the plug what timescale will BIH have to repay the loan?

    • chris says:

      if the £12.5 mill is just a loan it doesn’t make sense for BIHL to give BCFC any for transfers as how will BCFC pay this back or BIHL.
      If either spend too much of it, it maybe another debt which cannot be repaid and if this deal collapes in the next two years it may mean more worries of admin.
      we can’t keep spending what we don’t have, unless you want to lose the ground.

    • Pat glover says:

      Let’s all keep praying for light at end of a very long tunnel!

  • ChrisG says:

    Just found a bit about this on google TTA have 7 directors the main 2 being Liaoyao Jiang also spelt Liao Yaoqiang & Yan Gu Chi, but can’t find anything else apart from they could possibly be in the Caymen Islands

    • almajir says:

      Got a link for that Chris? Not that I don’t believe you, but the Cayman Island registry has no Trillion Trophy Asia registered.

  • FellowBlue says:

    I’m concerned about two things.
    Firstly – 2 FECKIN YEARS?! I know the takeover complicated and this was never going to be quick but two years seems a bit over the top. Then again nothing happens fast in HK apparently.
    The second thing is obviously the ground, I’ve got a horrible feeling EY have just done what that had to do to they make available the money for the fee’s they are racking up. Then again maybe that’s just me being the cynic this saga is making me become.
    Hopefully a new signing or two might make us all feel better KRO

  • swissjonny says:

    This is not good news.I was horrified when E and Y failed to engage with a serious bank who had an interested bidder and now this.So our ground is now leveraged to assist what could be another bunch of under funded chancers.Trillion have managed to get a lock out for two years and we haven’t signed a player.The only winners in this are as usual the large firm of accountants-and im sure some parasitic lawyers will have a good drink out of the fiasco as well.Forgive my cynicism but CY,s brief reckons she should win in the court of final appeal.With Xmas,holidays and blah blahs he could be a free man in two years.Trillion pull out and guess whose back.Carsen holds the key to a lot of peoples futures.Its now that he will discover whose willing to help him.We will never discover why.

  • Badger says:

    There was a Liao Yaoqiang listed as MD of EY in 2008.

    http://www.chinaretailnews.com/2008/10/22/1607-hong-kongs-tai-lin-electric-appliances-suffers-bankruptcy/

    Probably why the name pops up

    • John says:

      I would feel more confident about all these dealings, if it was a British branch of E & Y who were involved with it !

  • Art says:

    I can’t see this being good news in the short term-the club needs some serious investment and I don’t think Trillion will throw lots of money at the club until they buy it,They will just keep it ticking over.

    I fear another 2 years in the Championship and what message does this send to GR.

  • tony wales says:

    as fans we gave Sullivan and the golds stick now look what we have, a disaster again conned to get season tickets on false promises and nobody signed. this is not Birmingham city any more this is a bad dream that can only end in the final nightmare. what are the football league doing. football is dead in this country as it used to be just left to money men playing games, over priced don’t give a shit players and of course the mugs paying for it all. football failed to learn anything off rugby which is a great sport, instead we let mr blatter and his con men run the game, just unbelievable

    • chris says:

      can only agree except for the statement about rugby.
      Rugby is a farce too run by money.
      a Prem league winner who doesn’t win the league because they have to also win a playoff
      the same in the Championship where the team who wins the league may not even get promoted
      relegation of only one team yet other leagues have two or three relegated.
      none of prem league money filters down to Championship as it does in football
      many Championship teams still part time so how the hell do they compete
      rugby is dead outside the prem unless you have a rich owner

  • Mark fewtrell says:

    I fear this is the beginning of the end for BCFC .

  • Art says:

    Well said.

  • Richard Barron says:

    Terrible news, but can any of us say that we expected a happy ending?

    We don’t know who is running it, the club are going nowhere and now we’ve put the only thing we have left i.e. St Andrews on the line for if this all goes wrong – which it probably will.

    I have never in all my life seen the sale of a company, or football club, go on like this. It is a fiasco.

    I am just glad I never got swept along into buying a season ticket, and sadly I don’t think I will until things become a bit clearer.

    Like many others, I’m still a Blues fan and I’ll look out for the results and pop down there if I can, but the days of me putting money into the club or making it a priority in my life are sadly over.

    It’s a very sad day for BCFC.

    • almajir says:

      You’ve never seen a football club go on like this?

      Take a look around Leeds, Coventry, Portsmouth among many others in the football league mate.

      • Richard Barron says:

        No, I’ve never seen the prospective sale of a club go on like this.

        We needed to be sold following CY’s arrest, and from that point it has always been the aim, (or hope) that this would happen, and that Blues would recover from this unfortunate set back.

        Two years for TTA to go through the motions could mean that we could be sat here in two summers time discussing what we are discussing now.

        Perhaps saying that it was a sad day was over dramatic – I should have said that today was the day when we have to accept that any hope we had of rebuilding this club into what it was will probably take a generation.

    • DaveP says:

      How is it a sad day? Why has this news brought with it a tsunami of pessimism that is normally associated with that lot up the road??

      It’s not like Pannu and Yeung are behind this is it? Or Palladini, or, the Gods forbid, the Kumars. This is probably the best news we’ve had regarding transfer of ownership for a long time now. We have a clear indication that someone is clearly interested, potentially has the money to buy out CY and wants the club to continue. OK so we might not see any concrete evidence for the 12 months that a take over is imminent but it probably means that there might be a readily source of cash to help with the running costs of the club. Isn’t that the main thing? That Blues stay in business and keep running?

      We’ve got a decent young manager who has the club in his heart, a promising squad (albeit without an experienced goalkeeper) and results were looking good in the second half of the season. Let’s face it, we can be a lot more optimistic at the start of this season than we were this time last year.

      • Adam True Blue says:

        Where have they said they want the club to continue? Who has said they want the club to continue? The most valuable asset here to a Chinese company is the Stock Listing, which at the current time is worth a lot more than BCFC, Shut down Blues, sell the land that Stans sits on to recoup a bit of investment and merge a company with Bihl to takeover the Bihl stock, then drop the Bihl name, job done. For a small investment and assurity a lot of profit. No one in the know has told us any different, though we are all gloom and doom merchants here, we are still clutching at straws and believe our fairy god mother will rescue us, if a buyer was interested in BCFC they would be here, making sure things were progressing in the way that they would want to see, they would be stamping their authority, its not happening, wake up and smell the coffee.

        I’m a devoted Blues fan as much as anybody but the silence is deafening, if there was good news people would be in a hurry to tell us, they are not so forthcoming with bad news.
        I really hope I am wrong but look at the signs. Kro its what we always do!!

      • Richard Barron says:

        Gary Rowett is a terrific young manager – you are right. But with no ambition, he won’t be here long. That is what is sad about it.

  • chris says:

    surely football league should now be asking who these prospective owners are?

  • chris says:

    how will Ernst and Young get paid ?
    out of this £12.5 million?
    probably at least half of that i would guess
    so a debt against our ground to pay receivers for BIHL

  • big al says:

    Better the devil you don’t know. We want a takeover and we have an owner who don’t wanna sell. It was never going to be easy.

  • Adrian says:

    So much pessimism. As I see it the 2 years is not “fixed”, as in a few months the deal to buy BIHL could be completed or they could decide not to carry on then the exclusivity will end. So TWO years is just there to stop the boat being rocked whilst E&Y do the deal with these people. Of course there are many chances for things to go wrong. That is the truth of LIFE. Until the dust settles on the deal and what happens after it we will be on the Wonderful Roller Coaster that being a True Blue Nose has been since 1875! Just don’t “Smile” too much…………

  • StaffsBlue says:

    So, this could be it for the next 2 years. Then what? TTA pull out and we’re back to square one? Thanks a lot E&Y, looks like you’ll be the only ones to come out of this smiling… and richer. :-/

    • almajir says:

      Or, TTA might actually shock horror do the deal…

      • StaffsBlue says:

        True, they might. But then, they might not.

        • John says:

          Perhaps the deal will be dependant on what division the club is in. In two year we could be in he Prem with a couple of astute deals.
          At least it’s a genuine enquiry and not a Paladini

        • almajir says:

          Comes down to if you’re an optimist or a pessimist Staffs…

          • chris says:

            or delusional or realist

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I’m an optimist where the football is concerned, as always…. but it’s hard to be an optimist on the ownership front after what’s gone on the last few years. I don’t trust the people who run the club and have seen/heard nothing so far to change my mind. When TTA come out and say who they are and what their plans for the club are, I might change my mind. We can but hope. :)

  • Art says:

    TTA are in a win win position.

    The loans are being paid back with 8% interest.

    They have the stadium as collateral.

    They can walk away from the deal anytime during the next 2.years

    And in the meantime the club is going nowhere.

    To say I’m pissed off is an understatement..

  • Lionzion says:

    Whilst we dont know much about TTA they do seem to be the only realistic buyer. Time will tell but we all wanted rid of Carson and his pet chimp and this certainly seems to be going in that direction.
    I might be very wrong but one thing us blues fans are good at is pessimism, perhaps this is time for change in more ways than one.
    Thanks Dan. You are a god send.

    • almajir says:

      They weren’t the only bidders though – that’s the issue. Swissjonny and I are both well aware of one backed by a major bank.

      • Tony says:

        Dan I have never heard of a 2 year period being granted, and this 13 million is for the parent company whos to say GR Will get any of it for team building. then there is E&Y fees For the life of me I cant see the source of optimism, how the hell can we go on like this for another couple of years.Then there is always the threat of losing STANS.
        This just about puts the tin hat on it.

  • Leigh Larigo says:

    St Andrews….redevelopment ?

  • Emma humphreys says:

    Not understanding again. I thought there was something on out ground that could stop it from being developed or something. That fans would be given the right to buy the land first. Can anyone shed any light. Can we loose our ground like Portsmouth or Coventry. What does all this mean

    • almajir says:

      Was done a few weeks ago – unfortunately, while the Trust have first option on a sale they cannot stop anyone from securing a loan on the ground nor can they stop a repossession.

  • davieboy says:

    Lots of second guessing and pessimism. E&Y have done this to keep Yeung and Pannu out of it for up to two years. It doesn’t mean we will be in receivership for two years. Trillion are the only serious bidders clearly. If Almajir and Swiss Tony knows of another why not tell us who then? They are all Palladini style chancers I would guess. Trilion have to come out of the shadows now and invest in the team otherwise we will tread water and fans will stop coming,unless they get a deal done soon

    • chris says:

      why do they have to invest in the team????????
      they don’t own or run the club! yet
      they have invested by giving BIHL £12 million which BIHL could spend on buying another company and not put one penny into BCFC yet laod the club with massive debt against it’s ground at 8% interest
      thats a million each year just in interest and we can’t afford players now nevermind when paying out a million in interest.
      delusion seems to tint some fans minds

  • Peter Bates says:

    Once again a shadow hangs over bcfc why nothing from the club again majority of fans are not business people and only want to know what’s happening nothing from press officer at club nothing from ey what are fans supposed to think my season ticket was bought because I was lead to believe everything was going well on players coming in but all we hear is players might be sold we only hear about players who are not attached to any club they are cheap and with the news this morning it’s not getting any better lets support the team on the pitch and gr for as long as he’s at the club because if a decent offer came in no one would blame him for leaving kro

  • Jaffa says:

    Whatch us sign some players now!!

  • donblue says:

    This is the first time i,have felt the need to comment on your site but enough is enough and its now time for the football league to do the job they should have done when mr yueng first took over ie to investigate fully who are TTA before any deal or no deal is done.If you took a script of our plight to a
    top hollywood director they,d laugh it off as a complete work of fiction,lwe bluenoses know the truth

  • Blue Lizard says:

    Well this news should bollocks the season ticket sales then….

  • the realdeal says:

    St Andrews is now on borrowed time.
    I will look to purchase the house with the centre spot in the garden :-(
    2018-2019 Season….off to the Rioch to ground share :-(

  • Why would E&Y turn down 6 other bidders for the club some I believe who would have bought it outright , and then put the whole company at risk by selling to a group of people who do not seem to have the cash at the moment , and E&Y are supposed to be doing what is best for BIH , how can this be , I feel another investigation coming on . so let’s have bets on who will gain from this , BIH , BCFC, TTA, CY, & family …..are you there football league , can you here us, BCFC is the main asset of BIH , and as such E&Y should be making this club a big success ,and dump any other companies that are losing money ,that is as they have said selling is the last resort , or have they been lying .

    • Adam True Blue says:

      As I keep mentioning in previous posts BCFC is of no concern to E&Y they have been brought in to secure Bihl, and if BCFC fall to the wayside then so be it, not what we as Blues fans want to hear (It would be nice to hear anything) but its the cold truth. Kro

    • almajir says:

      Why do think they don’t have the money to do it now? They’re lending BIH 12.5million quid, says to me they’ve got money…

      • Adam True Blue says:

        Currently BCFC is Bihl’s only ‘real’ asset which maintains their Stock Listing, lose BCFC lose the listing, so BCFC is being kept afloat until a deal can be done, just to keep the prize at the end the HK listing.
        Just my personal view with nothing concrete to back it, but then there is nothing concrete to show any anything any different, if somebody somewhere was doing something that would be of future benefit to Blues they would be proud to let us know, not details just a summary, we are not getting that! Like I said earlier silence is deafening. Kro

      • WalmleySteve says:

        Lots of doom and gloom here, which is understandable given the last 4 years. Seems to me that a simple way to allay these fears and increase season ticket sales is for some sort of statements to be released, whether to the HKSE or on the club’s website (HKSE rules permitting) confirming 1) who TTA are, 2) that they want to invest in the club and are not just in this for the HKSE lisiting (assuming that is the case) and 3) money is available to invest in players this summer. Mr Pavlakis and Ernst & Young in Hong Kong – I believe you read this site so it’s time to step up to the mark and nip all this doom-mongering in the bud.

    • chris says:

      trouble is BIHL comes first and it’s shareholders not BCFC and it’s fans

  • Agent Mcleish says:

    Looks like the BBC’s Nick Clitheroe has paraphrased your blog and used it to base his own ‘analysis’. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/33268019

  • Art says:

    The club is just a “financial footbal” being kicked from pillar to post.

    No money,no hope,no future.

    Sorry to sound so pessimistic but I really don’t think for a moment that TTA have the slightest interest in the club so why on earth are they the preferred bidder.

    • almajir says:

      They have no interest in the club Art. That’s why they’re buying it as opposed to a stake in BIH (which was the original deal).

      Am I missing something?

      • WalmleySteve says:

        Dan – how have you managed to conclude that TTA are buying the club rather than a stake in BIHL. Unless I missed something, the statement to HKSE says “and/or” doesn’t it?

        • chris says:

          ” purchase of shares in the Company and/or Birmingham City Plc,
          a 96.64% owned subsidiary of the Company which in turn owns the entire issued share capital of
          Birmingham City Football Club Plc (the “Club”), “

      • Art says:

        Dan,

        I fully understand what they have acheived in terms of buying a large stake in the club but do you honestly believe these guys whoever they are will further invest large sums of money to get us into the premeriship?

        I don’t and this is what matters to the fans.

        And again I ask why is there a total lack of transparency given that you maintain that eventually they will have to disclose who they are.

        I just think we are being used for financial gains and nothing else matters and of course we now run the real risk of losing ST Andrews.

        Is this in your opinion a good deal or not?

        • almajir says:

          Art

          I don’t know if it’s a good deal or not – and the truth is, neither does anyone else – purely because we don’t know who TTA are.

          Until we do, we just have to wait and see. I’m pursuing a line of cautious optimism; other people may choose to be pessimistic or sceptical. What you think is up to you.

  • mineheadblue says:

    I honestly don’t known if it’s good news or bad news or how I feel about this. I’m not walking round with a big grin on my face or doing cartwheels, so perhaps that should tell me something.
    Maybe it’s selfish but as much as I want new owners (and that’s a lot), I yearn for an old fashioned British owner who knows about and cares about the club. I’m not saying I wouldn’t take a rich middle east consortium but knowing our luck, it would be ISIS.

  • andy says:

    I do not think TTA would be so stupid as to watch the club struggle and fall out of the Championship, I am sure they will have plans to get Birmingham back into the Premiership because ultimately, that is what will matter most to these people.

    • Oldbluenose says:

      Because of the ” Convoluted ” chaos that was/is, BIH, i imagine that, E + Y, are having to thread their way through this minefield, very carefully,?
      To my amateur way of thinking, Keeping BIH, afloat [ for the HKSE ], is the name of the game,?.
      As, Has been stated here already, I do believe we will be ” sold-off ” once they can secure another avenue of Business under the banner, — LEAVING us, !!. surplus to requirements,????.

  • Darren Nelson says:

    Does the announcement not say they have offered to buy BCFC?
    I see nothing about them buying BIH?

    I have never seem so many pessimists around the place… This only looks good to me. An serious offer to buy the club from BIH, the fee lodged with HSBC that presumably may see our overdraft restored and a loan that should easily see us through to the conclusion of a sale. E&Y have done only positive things so far and they get my backing.

    I wonder how many of the moaners on here gave dogs abuse to David sulivan? talk about chickens coming home to roost!

    • chris says:

      no i read that slightly differently, it seems ambiguous as it states;
      purchase of shares in the Company and/or Birmingham City Plc,

  • rhees says:

    I still feel there’s. Room for optimism here, just wish tta would come out and say there going to back the club and have plans ,then it would be smiles alround

  • KRO says:

    I find this crazy they have got two years to make there mind up if they want to buy the club or not and possibly put next to nothing in and other possible buyers that might have big money to spend have got to wait until the two years have past to me is ridiculous.

    • Darren Nelson says:

      Yes kro…
      It’s all one great big conspiracy and E&Y are deliberately looking for the worst bidders.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      They probably have made up their mind hence committing to the loan and the investment, probably whereby the loan gets written off against the purchase price

      The two years is the time it is anticipated it could take to go through all the legals what with appeals etc.

      Having said thattheir plans for BCFC are anyone’s guess. Are they property developers who will sell Stans and migrate it to the Ricoh or run as a football club as is

  • chris says:

    could it be two years because BIHL will use the loan of £12 million to buy another company to sustain their HKSE listing which would take a long time.
    then once that is done TTA will take the club plus probably pay BIHL another final payment to secure 100 % of BCFC?

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think the only thing that can lift some of the gloom now, would be a couple of new players holding shirts/scarves inside St Andrews. At least we’d know SOMETHING half-decent is happening.

  • paulieboy says:

    I fear there will be no Blues in 2 years time.This “business proposition” just smells of another stab in the back for us supporters – Maybe Aldi are currently evaluating the St.Andrews estate?
    2 years?! what sort of message does this send out to us,mand just as importantly GR and any new additional players – Ok I take on-board we have no money and therefore it is highly likely we will sign the sort of poor quality players we already have in general(a handful excused from this).
    No upbeat comments from GR or the club, no decent players coming in – Can someone at the club please make a positive statement and give us all a lift as were slowly sinking!!!
    PS: Are the club expecting much interest in season tickets for the new season? If they are then they need to market themselves pretty dam quick.
    Agents Mitchell and D.Mann, where is your “Players Wish List”? You need to act quickly and get some in…NOW Boys please”!

  • I haven’t got time to read everything that has gone before (wife) , so I will vent my fors and againsts ,I don’t agree with a separate owner for the ground for as the club gets more successful so can the ground rent making all the hard work that people at the club futile …the news that TTA was to buy stans set me back a bit after E&Y it is said stated selling the club was a last resort , it set me back when our G A rumoured that CA might be out in two years , it set me back when I heard that this deal was to take two years after E&Y it has been thought to want a quick deal and surely TTA will not want another fire sale to weaken the club if they are serious about buying it , we have a magna carta in this country whereby even the queen is accountable , so should TTA ,in saying this let’s get this club moving upwards without anymore short trouser stuff.kro.

  • Maggs says:

    When are the Football League going to step in? Don’t answer…

  • River says:

    Wow 2yrs,just imagine how long it’s gonna take these guys to make any decisions at St andrews if they do buy. Jesus

  • gaughran says:

    I thought HKSE didn’t allow a deal which meant any potential buyer of more than 25% could guarantee assurances of full take over?

    Not sure forcing out other potential investors is good or if knowing someone can take over the club is a bonus? Time will tell I suppose.

  • Brumbie says:

    This deal stinks to me, the whole future of the club is in jeopardy what are we if we end up losing our stadium ? It seems like the best we can hope for is what we have done for most of our history keep plodding along in footballs second tier.the Premiership clubs are getting further and further away with every passing day with mega TV and sponsorship deals. We are worth maybe 20-25 million surely someone is willing to buy us ? Other local clubs are valued at 150-200m even Albion are talking about 100m so we would be decent value at a quarter of that.

    • almajir says:

      Brumble

      Other people were willing to buy us – EY rejected them in favour of Trillion Trophy Asia.


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