Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung is poised to stop short of a complete takeover of Birmingham City.
David Gold (right) will insist on funds to keep Steve Bruce smiling
Yeung looks set to buy half of the 78% shareholding owned collectively by current owners David Sullivan, and brothers David and Ralph Gold.
The £15m-£20m purchase would make Yeung the largest individual shareholder, but would not put him in total control.
Sullivan and the Golds would maintain a major role, with the door open for Yeung to gain a controlling interest.
It was originally thought Yeung would splash out about £50m and end Sullivan and the Golds' 14 years in charge at St Andrews.
But Yeung has come to his decision after holding talks with Sullivan and the Golds over the past few days.
The billionaire, who made an unsuccessful bid to take over Reading, has had his representatives visit St Andrews to inspect the club's finances.
Sullivan and the Golds also insisted that transfer funds would be made available to manager Steve Bruce.
Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal had also been linked with a prospective move to buy Blues, who won promotion to the Premiership in April.
Sullivan has made it clear on several occasions that he would be happy to sell his stake in the club after 14 years and it is believed he has become weary of travelling from his Essex base to the Midlands.