Grandtop International, the investment company run by Carson Yeung Ka-sing, plans to raise HK$785 million to fund a renewed bid to become the first Hong Kong owner of an English Premier League football club. On Thursday, Grandtop, which already holds a 29.9 per cent stake in Birmingham City, made an all-cash offer of GBP1 (HK$12.81) a share - a 55 per cent premium to its closing price that day - which values the football club at GBP81.5 million. Grandtop placed a GBP3 million deposit with Birmingham City with a view to making the offer, and reports in London said it had taken out a GBP57 million bridging loan to fund the takeover, which would be paid back using the proceeds of a share offer in Hong Kong. Contacted in London yesterday, Mr Yeung said: 'Sorry, we are not at liberty to say anything further. Check the announcement.' Shares in Grandtop were suspended from trading yesterday pending the announcement of 'a very substantial acquisition and open offer'. Meanwhile, in London, Birmingham City shares climbed as much as 45 per cent to 93.5 pence, the highest since its initial public offering in 1997. Mr Yeung, 49, first tried to buy the club two years ago, but the efforts foundered over concerns about the funding of the deal. He ended up with a 29.9 per cent stake, for which he paid HK$234 million. When news of the renewed bid emerged last week, the club warned shareholders that 'previous approaches did not proceed and the issue of the funding of any possible offer will be a major factor in determining how the company responds to the approach'. Grandtop, which had only HK$3 million cash in the bank at the end of March, has since raised HK$60 million through a top-up placement and sold a minority stake in the company to state-owned Shenzhen Capital Group for HK$36 million. Shares were suspended at 40.5 HK cents yesterday, giving the company a market capitalisation of HK$496 million. They have risen nearly 400 per cent so far this year. Mr Yeung took control of Grandtop in June 2007, paying HK$65.66 million for a 14.5 per cent stake in what was then a tiny apparel firm. A week after the deal, it launched its first bid for Birmingham City. Mr Yeung was the chairman of Hong Kong's Rangers football club from 2005 until early 2007. From his office on the 30th floor of Shun Tak Centre, Mr Yeung is believed to operate a lucrative securities trading business. He is rumoured to have been a keen investor in penny stocks, but his name was never on the Hong Kong exchange's record books until the investment in Grandtop. In 2004, he was reprimanded by the Securities and Futures Commission for failing to disclose his holdings in Cedar Base Electronic (Group), now known as China Water Affairs Group. The securities watchdog found that he held 25 per cent of Cedar Base on June 1, 2001, and on four other occasions had interests consisting of more than 20 per cent of the firm. He pleaded guilty and was fined HK$43,000 and ordered to pay the SFC's investigation costs.