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 benharringtonw11@gmail.com.

Deal Thursday

Thursday, 8 September 2016, 8:56 am

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...

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Is there a row brewing over the SAB Miller vote?

Tuesday, 6 September 2016, 8:33 am

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...

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The week ahead: Berkeley Group, Poundland and, er, that's it

Sunday, 4 September 2016, 8:15 pm

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...

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Peculiarities with Poundland bid

Wednesday, 31 August 2016, 8:56 pm

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...

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0 comments | Tags: betaville, Elliot, Poundland

Air Liquide said to have hired Goldman Sachs to sell Aqua Lung for $400 million - sources

Monday, 29 August 2016, 12:32 pm

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...

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AIG poised to begin sale of Lloyd's of London insurer Ascot Re- part 2

Tuesday, 23 August 2016, 8:58 pm

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:..

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0 comments | Tags: betaville, AIG, Ascot, Lloyd's of London

AIG poised to begin sale of Lloyd's of London insurer Ascot

Tuesday, 23 August 2016, 7:35 am

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...

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0 comments | Tags: betaville, Ascot Re, AIG, Lloyd's of London

Airline shenanigans

Saturday, 20 August 2016, 2:44 pm

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...

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Is the tide turning for Odey the Brexiteer? - part 6

Wednesday, 17 August 2016, 9:00 am

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!..

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Praxair in talks with Linde about $60 billion merger, WSJ reports

Tuesday, 16 August 2016, 11:45 am

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:..

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0 comments | Tags: betaville, Paxair Linde, Linde, Praxair

[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].