EFL approves Birmingham City takeover deal

The English Football League (EFL) has approved the acquisition of Birmingham City by Shelby Companies, giving American hedge fund manager Tom Wagner a majority stake.

Tom Wagner. Credit: Birmingham City FC

The subsidiary of Knighthead Annuity & Life Assurance Company led by Wagner, purchased 24% of shares owned by Birmingham Sports Holdings and 21.64% of shares from Oriental Rainbow Investments and Achiever Global Group, resulting in a 45.64% stake.

Wagner now awaits the approval of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

After the deal was revealed in May, Wagner wrote in a message to Blues fans: “You may be asking why we are making this commitment. Knighthead’s expertise is in turning around and transforming organisations that are experiencing difficulties.

“We have a passion for sport. We have been involved in, and have seen first-hand, its ability to drive positive economic and social change.

“We plan to commit the resources, in line with EFL guidelines, the skills and the determination needed to deliver transformational improvements for the good of the Club and the good of the city. The potential for Birmingham City is unlimited”.

He presented his ambition to “transform the Club’s fortunes through improved infrastructure and new commercial partnerships” as well as delivering a fan experience that is “unmatched”.

Wagner also plans to help “young local talent flourish and realise their ambitions” and be a “positive force in the local community”.