Paladini eager to wrap up Blues takeover
Gianni Paladini has said he hopes to conclude a £30 million takeover of Championship Birmingham City in the next ten days.
Paladini, who left QPR in 2011 after almost eight years at Loftus Road, has been given a period of exclusivity to perform due diligence on the accounts of Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL).
Although his second and improved bid was rejected after being formally lodged with Blues' Carson Yeung and Peter Pannu almost a fortnight ago, talks about its structure are ongoing and it appears the club and Paladini are moving closer to an agreement.
Paladini's bid revolves around an initial £17 million down payment, with the rest coming in instalments. Lawyers representing both parties have been hammering out the finer details.
The Italian is keen to conclude a takeover before Christmas in order to avoid the club's main assets, Jack Butland and Nathan Redmond, being sold in the January transfer window.
He has said he intends to retain the services of manager Lee Clark and has funds to spend on "four or five players", with the play-offs still a realistic target.
"I am hopeful that we can get something agreed within the next ten days," he said.
"We have spent a lot of money trying to get this completed and are looking through the books. We are keen to get it all sorted by the end of next week."
Pannu, Blues' acting chairman and chief executive officer and the managing director of BIHL, has been leading the sale process.
But although Paladini is keen for matters to be sorted quickly, any formal handover of power is likely to take a lot longer.
An EGM of BIHL has to be called and shareholders need to vote on the bid. That could be at least a four-week process, which will overlap Yeung's court case when he stands trial in Hong Kong to answer charges relating to alleged money-laundering.
Failure to complete the deal will almost certainly result in Butland being sold to ensure the club can continue to operate in the Championship.
Birmingham have already rejected a £6 million offer from Southampton for the England international, and Liverpool are also interested.
Paladini added: "We want to get a deal done very soon because we don't want to lose any players in January. Our intentions have never wavered. We want it done."