Yeung in charge

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Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung finally gained control of Birmingham as he took his shareholding beyond the 90% mark.

Yeung's investment company Grandtop Holdings can now complete a compulsory purchase of the remaining shares with a view to taking the club off the Alternative Investment Market and into private ownership.

The news represents the formal end of the David Sullivan, Ralph Gold and Karren Brady era at St Andrews, although David Gold is poised to remain as chairman.

Yeung is expected to travel to England next week, and manager Alex McLeish for one will be keen to meet the new owner to hear his plans for the club.

Yeung must now begin the job of winning over Blues supporters after his failed takeover attempt during the 2007-08 season was widely viewed as a key factor in the club's relegation from the Premier League and in the departure of then manager Steve Bruce.

A statement from Grandtop revealed the takeover news. It confirmed: "As at 1pm on October 6, 2009, Grandtop owned or had received valid acceptances of the offer in respect of a total of 76,620,136 Birmingham City shares representing in aggregate approximately 94% of the current issued share capital of Birmingham City."

Blues boss McLeish insisted yesterday he was looking forward to working with Yeung, and said: "We are looking forward to a new era. There is a buzz about the place and the fans and they are anticipating another step forward.

"I am looking forward to working with the new owners. I am ambitious and they are ambitious and, of course, if there is money to spend, we would welcome it. It is exciting times and something I have great anticipation for."

Grandtop have left an open timetable to those shareholders who own the remaining six per cent of the share capital to return their certificates, so at this stage there is no definite deadline by which Grandtop will have acquired 100% of the shares.

However, now the acquisition of the remaining shares has become compulsory, it has become a matter of when and not if the shares are bought.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
Steve Bruce

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