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 ben@betaville.co.uk. Betaville can also be reached at Whats App, Signal or Telegram. Betaville's Twitter handle is @bharringtonw11 and you can message me via Twitter with stories.

The Buffett conundrum...- Part 2

Wednesday, 8 May 2019, 9:44 pm

When I'm in the office I often pick up Financial News, a trade rag that many years ago gave little old Betaville one of his first jobs in financial journalism.

So, when I turned to page 3 of the paper I was intrigued to read an editorial by David Wighton, former business editor of The Times, vehemently arguing that companies should jettison ALL corporate jets as they are an "incendiary issue and red rag for customers and employees"...

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Sunday review - United Utilities et al, Shell and BT Group

Sunday, 5 May 2019, 7:20 pm

Hat tip to John "The Ridge" Collingridge, deputy City editor of The Sunday Times, for landing a cracking tale in today's The Sunday Times about Labour's plans to take private/renationalise the country's water companies at a discount.

I can't imagine investors in London's listed water companies (United Utlities, Pennon Group and Severn Trent) are too happy about that! Below is a link to John's scoop:..

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The Buffett conundrum...

Thursday, 2 May 2019, 10:52 am

Betaville has been inundated with phone calls since the venerable Financial Times ran its interview with the Sage of Omaha, in which the octogenarian billionaire investor suggested he is looking at doing a big UK deal. Below is a link to the interview:

https://www.ft.com/content/32676c5c-667e-11e9-9adc-98bf1d35a056

"What's he going to buy,?" asked one veteran investor...

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The Audley...

Tuesday, 30 April 2019, 5:14 pm

Betaville suspects some of his surveyor chums will be somewhat peeved one their favourite watering holes - The Audley in the heart of Mayfair, London - has just been closed down.

The pub was a bit of an oddity given it was one of the last bastions of an "old man's" style pub slap bang in the middle one of the most desireable spots of Mayfair, the upmarket district of London favoured by hedgies, dealmakers and entrepreneurs...

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RARE ALERT: Angus Energy plots multi-million pound equity fundraising

Monday, 29 April 2019, 5:21 pm

Angus Energy, the oil explorer run by the son of Lord Lucan, is working on a plan to raise up to £5 million from equity investors.

People claiming to be familiar with the matter said Angus Energy is looking to raise between £3.5 million and £5 million from investors via a Placing and an Open Offer.

It's believed the new shares will be issued at between 4.5p and 5p, said people claiming to be familiar with the matter...

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"Chinese walls"...

Friday, 26 April 2019, 6:24 pm

Mark Kleinman's piece about the private equity firms that looked and then ditched a counterbid for London-listed Inmarsat caught Betaville's eye today.

Loyal readers might be wondering why given the central premise of the story is that, er, nothing is happening.

Well, for a start pieces about old deals that never got off the ground can show future intentions, so for M&A watchers these stories can provide vital clues for the mosaic theory...

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No merger Thursday...

Thursday, 25 April 2019, 10:47 am

Business hacks coined the phrase merger Monday during the M&A boom times of the late noughties when several mutli-billion takeover deals would get announced simultaneously on a Monday morning.

These days, though, there are less deals around and today two mega deals completely unravelled: J Sainsbury's £15 billion merger with Wal-Mart's Asda and Deutsche Bank's combination with Commerzbank...

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The Japanese billionaire, the embattled online payment firm and the Bitcoin punt...

Wednesday, 24 April 2019, 3:24 pm

Two separate stories about SoftBank and its leader, Masayoshi Son, broke this morning but Betaville found the juxtaposition of the pieces rather intriguing.

The first tale was about SoftBank spending almost $1 billion on Wirecard convertible bonds that could also give the Japanese conglomerate a 5.6pc stake in the German digital payments company. Below is a link to piece in the FT on the topic:..

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Is Fosun about to do a Mike Ashley with Thomas Cook?

Tuesday, 23 April 2019, 6:47 pm

The collapse of Debenhams wasn't exactly Mike Ashley's finest hour.

The owner of Newcastle United Football Club lost £150 million on the 29.9pc equity stake he built over several years after being outmanouvered by the credit funds and the company ahead of a financial restructuring.

Now, though, it would appear Fosun - the Chinese conglomerate led by Guo Guangchang, dubbed China's Warren Buffett - is following a similar path to maverick Mike...

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Betaville Intelligence

RARE ALERT: Acadia Healthcare said to ... - Part 6

Thursday, 18 April 2019, 8:58 pm

Acadia Healthcare, the US-listed behavioural health and addiction services company, is said to be in the early stages of weighing a sale of the The Priory Group, the British mental health care firm.

A person familiar with the situation said Acadia Healthcare has now appointed a financial adviser to weigh a sale of the The Priory although this person declined to identify the firm mandated to carry out the strategic review...

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According To (lack of?) Sources...

Thursday, 18 April 2019, 8:39 am

Every now and then Betaville tunes into According to Sources, a podcast put together by the eloquent American hedgie Michael Samuels of Broome Street Capital.

Mr Samuels, as far as Betaville can see (or is it hear?) relishes nit picking over Wall Street deals, dealmaking and, now it would appear, journalism. Below is a link to Mr Samuels latest podcast...

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Betaville Intelligence

UNCOOKED ALERT: Jazz Pharmaceuticals said to...

Wednesday, 17 April 2019, 3:53 pm

TG Therapeutics, US-listed biopharmaceuticals company, has come under the spotlight amid vague takeover speculation.

However, it's not clear which company is interested in purchasing TG Therapeutics.

One person claiming to be familiar with the matter said the buyer for TG Therapeutics is Jazz Pharmaceuticals, an Ireland-based biopharmaceutical company which specializes of identifying, developing and commercializing pharmaceutical products...

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Is Cuisine de France for sale?

Tuesday, 16 April 2019, 9:06 am

No - is the answer to the question posited in the headline, according to a spokesperson for Aryzta, the ailing Swiss-Irish food company that owns Cuisine de France.

"Cuisine de France is not for sale," reiterated Mark Kenny, a spokesperson for Aryzta when Betaville got in touch last week...

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[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].