It's been a couple of weeks since Zak hosted me on Tip TV but today I was back in the chair. Here is a link to today's session:
A cheeky website about deals, dealmakers and anything else I find interesting. Edited by Ben Harrington. If you have a tip or want to discuss a story please feel free to email Betaville at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's good to see Air Liquide finally confirm little old Betaville's scoop from a few weeks ago about the French industrial gases giant exploring a sale of company that invented Scuba diving equipment.
In case you don't recall, a couple of weeks ago I wrote this:..
A Cypress update: company said to be working with Goldman Sachs on strategic options; three private equity firms circling - sources - part 2
I note Deal Reporter and its sister publication PARR followed up little old Betaville's tale from a couple of months ago on Cypress Semiconductors. In case you don't recall, here is a link to that piece:..
The summer is over (well, in the UK at least) and dealmaking has roared back into life.
This morning the Kleinmanator's mega scoop from last night about Micro Focus buying Hewlett-Packard's software division for $8 billion was confirmed on the Regulatory News Service, sending the the company's stock over 20pc higher...
It would appear the Poundland vote on Steinhoff's takeover offer has ended up being a bit of a damp squib.
According to brokers, only 2.14pc of shareholders voted against the offer!..
Clearly, all eyes this week will be on how Elliott, the edgy US hedge fund, plans to vote its 25pc stake in discount retailer Poundland after switching its shares into physical stock. Is it a bluff, a double bluff or even a triple bluff? The market will find out soon enough.
Ironically, though, it's one of Elliott's rather large positions held in another company - SAB Miller - via contracts for differences that is causing a frisson of anxiety among investors...
As regular readers of my work can imagine, I was rather busy yesterday (see yesterday's The Sunday Times). So, a few jackanories fell by the wayside during yesterday's mayhem.
One of those things was a story I was trying to stack up about Berkeley Group, the London-focused housebuilder that has been heavily shorted by hedge funds over the last few months...
The sharp suited types over at Elliott - the punchy American hedge fund that often makes big, acitivist punts on events - have done something rather unusual: the hedgies have switched most of the near 23pc position in Poundland into physical equity...
French industrial gases giant Air Liquide is exploring a sale of the company that invented Scuba diving equipment and was founded by the well-known oceanographer Jacques Cousteau.
Air Liquide has asked bankers at Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for Aqua Lung, which was formerly known as La Spirotechnique. People familiar with the matter said information packs have already been sent to potential buyers, many of whom are likely to be private equity firms...
I see The Kleinmanator of Sky News today ran a story about how Rio Tinto had dumped its longstanding broker Credit Suisse and replaced the Swiss institution with Deutsche Bank.
The core facts of Kleinman's "exclusive" story are eerily similar to a piece I did a week or so ago on little old Betaville. Here is the link:..
Hilarious (or ridiculous, perhaps) - the Financial Times is now reporting little old Betaville's AIG/Ascot scoop but attributing the tale as "first reported" by the Wall Street Journal. Here is the link:
I see the Twitterati on Twitter (there are quite a few words beginning with twit, here) are claiming the mighty Wall Street Journal this afternoon broke the story or landed the "scoop" about AIG selling Ascot, the Lloyd's of London insurer.
Funny that because I'm sure I published a story this morning about how AIG is gearing up to sell Ascot. Here is the link:..
That last bastion of old school broking - the Lloyd's of London insurance market - may soon be a fertile environment for dealmakers.
I'm hearing from good industry sources that US insurance giant AIG is gearing up for a potential sale of Ascot. Ascot is a member of the Lloyd's market, where it's not unusual for brokers and underwriters to go out for a long boozy lunch and return to work fours hours later completely inebriated. In fact, in some places it's encouraged...
Zak was down in the dumps today, so I cheered him up by blathering on for ten minutes about the curent red hot M&A market. Here is the link to today's session:
Sanofi said to weigh alternative deals to Medivation; eyes BioMarin pharmaceutical - sources - part 2
Hacks at the FT last night landed a rather good scoop about Pfizer winning the long running Medivation auction with a $14 billion takeover bid. Here is the link:
I see the most of the British newspaper market reports ran the easyJet bid tale for a second day in a row.
However, the likes of Bryce Elder of the Financial Times and Martin Waller of The Times put a somewhat cynical spin on the jackanory, alluding to the gossip as a "silly season" story that typically come about during the dog days of August...
It really does appear Crispin has been caught short - above is an image (courtsey of Bloomberg) showing the Odey European flagship fund covering many of the fund's short positions.
Or, perhaps the bear is finally capitulating.....
Things have gone from bad to worse for the charasmatic Crispin this year. It's clear the Brexit bounce (following the market sell off) for his flagship European fund was only temporary and now he is down 29.2pc (according to the latest investment letter seen by little old Betaville).
Still, what's impressive is that rather than capitulating Odey is backing his overall bearish outlook by sticking most of his fund in gold. Punchy!..
Typically, August is one of the quietest periods for M&A. But this year things have really been turned on their head, with this Augsut fast becoming one of the busiest I can recall for dealmaking.
Today, Eyk Henning of the venerated Wall Street Journal landed the mega scoop about Praxair's $60 billion merger talks with Linde. Hap tip to the intrepid Eyk for landing that blockbuster jackanory. Here is the link in case you missed it:..
The lads and ladettes over at FT Alphaville may have knocked off for the week but little old Betaville continues unabated. So, here is a link to today's Tip TV session.
[Disclaimer - the information on Betaville does not consitute any form of investment recommendation and is not intended to be relied upon by readers in making, or refraining from, any investment decisions].