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Avonhurst have acted on behalf of Birmingham Sports Holdings Limited, Oriental Rainbow Investments Limited and Achiever Global Limited (the Investors), the principal investors in Birmingham City Football Club in the investment by Shelby Companies Limited (SCL) (a company backed by the Knighthead Capital). 

Finance partner Ian Frost led the Avonhurst team, supported by associate, Oliver Elsaesser.

The transaction involved a minority investment by SCL in BCFC and an assumption of control on a day to day basis of BCFC by SCL.  SCL also acquired Birmingham City Stadium Limited the company which owns the historic home of BCFC at the St Andrews Stadium.  The investment by SCL has facilitated urgently required refurbishments to the stadium as well as investment in the team and the training facilities.

Avonhurst supported the Investors throughout the process and over engagement with a number of potential investors and through to a successful consummation with SCL.  In order to ensure a successful future for the club and a robust management and investment structure, Avonhurst assisted the Investors in developing complex financing and shareholder arrangements. 

The key aim in the structure was to provide a long-term financing structure which would ensure funds for the clubs operating and capital expenditure purposes as well as securing the financial interests of SCL and the Investors.  Avonhurst advised the Investors, alongside their Hong Kong counsel and specialist counsel in relation to the sport regulation elements, in all matters relating to the corporate structure, shareholder arrangements, funding terms, security and intercreditor arrangements.

In a highly competitive sector the structure devised and developed for Birmingham City FC has stabilised a historic football club in the UK’s second city, enabled much needed stadium redevelopments and provided an exciting future for the club, the city and its fans.  The contractual arrangements put in place demonstrate the innovation and flexibility of the Avonhurst platform and the advice that we give from the first turn of the term sheet to the final close at completion.

Ian Frost, Finance partner, said:

“We have been proud to act for the shareholders on a complex and exciting transaction which establishes a framework for investment and which permits an historic club to invest and develop.”

19 September 2023