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. 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.
A date for the diary: city brokerage Vantage Capital Markets is being dragged to the High Court next week to defend a six figure claim brought by two former employees.
John Thitchener and Gavin Masters are suing VCM for losses they say they suffered after the company refused to pay them out under a partnership agreement...
A Cypress Semiconductor update: company said to be working with Goldman Sachs on strategic options; three private equity firms circling - sources - The Series Returns
I see Betaville's rivals at Bloomberg have just revealed that Cypress Semiconductors is weighing a sale after receiving takeover interest. Below is a link to the Bloomie piece broken this afternoon:
The British aren't exactly popular on the continent at the moment thanks to the interminable Brexit negotiations.
There is, though, one Brit who has had a hand shaping one of the largest Franco-Italian corporate mergers of 2019.
Baroness Wheatcroft of Blackheath, also known as Patience Wheathcroft, is a non executive director of Fiat Chrysler, which this weekend was outed by the Financial Times as in merger discussions with France's Renault...
This piece in The Daily Telegraph's business section - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/05/27/rothschild-chasing-big-dollars-across-pond/ - about the venerable NM Rothschild expanding in the US caught Betaville's eye.
Tucked away in the middle of The Sunday Times business section is a rather intriguing line in Oliver Shah's excellent commentary column.
"With Centrica’s shares trading at 92.8p, a price also reminiscent of another era (they last sunk to that level in the late 1990s), City scuttlebutt suggests at least one overseas rival is eyeing the FTSE 100 stalwart with a view to gaining a foothold in the British market."..
The private equity owners of Blue Motor Finance are preparing to sell the car finance company for up to £200 million.
To be fair, it was the venerable Financial Times that first revealed Blue Motor Finance was talking to bankers about a sale. Below is the link:
Thomas Cook is under seige with City brokers, such as Citigroup, speculating the company's shares are worthless.
That has prompted a sharp sell off of the company's shares and bonds, which are now trading at distressed levels.
So, senior bankers have begun to speculate about what the company's tough chairman, Frank Meysman, might do to dig the company out of the hole it finds itself in...
Arbitrageurs breathed a huge sigh of relief after the Scheme of Arrangement to take Inmarsat private scraped through with just 78.9pc of shareholders giving it the green light.
So who was it that voted against the deal completing?
According to one mole, Norges - the Norwegiant investor that owns around 3pc of Inmarsat - voted against approving the Scheme.
There is also talk a well-known British institutional investor also disapproved although it's not clear why...
Betaville was having a rather good weekend until I came across a story in yesterday's business section of The Sunday Times...
A fresh row is brewing at controversial mining company Pathfinder Minerals after the ex-husband of "City superwoman" Nicola Horlick launched a multi-million pound legal claim that the company has failed to disclose...
Hat tip to the young dynamic duo at the Evening Standard for landing a rather good scoop about Pret a Manger buying rival Eat.
Indeed, it was Mark Shapland and Laura Onita from the Evening Standard's business section broke the news about Pret's plans to turn Eat locations into vegetarian-only sandwich shops and here is a link to their tale:..
It would appear FTSE 250-listed Babcock International hasn't managed to scare off mysterious research house Boatman Capital.
The anonymous scribbler has just realsed a fresh negative note on Babcock International, arguing the company has to write down Defence Support Group (DSG) subsidiary, which was acquired for £148 million. Below is a link to the Boatman Capital wesbite:
UNCOOKED ALERT: Iofina said to be working on multi-million pound equity fundraising - sources - Part 2
Another day, another confirmation for little old Betaville.
This time Iofina confirmed Betaville's scoopette from yesterday about the business plotting a discounted equity fundraising. Below is a link to the confirmation:
Iofina, the Iodine and natural gas exploration company, is said to be working an equity fundraising.
People claiming to be familiar with the matter said Iofina is working on placing and the deal could be "imminent".
One person claimed new shares in Iofina, which today saw its stock jump almost 30pc to 32p, could be issued to investors at around 22p a share.
However, it's not clear how much capital Iodina is looking to raise...
Oh look - I see yesterday's scoop about SoftBank Vision Fund investing in Greensill has now been officially confirmed. Below is a link to the confirmation on PR Newswire:
I think this might be a first: a review of the Sunday paper business sections on a Saturday night.
Well, first off I hope you don't mind if I blow my own trumpet about a rather good tale I'm breaking tomorrow in the Mail on Sunday's business section...
So, that was close: just 78.9pc of Inmarsat shareholders voted to approve the Scheme of Arrangement at today's court meeting.
The private equity consortium led by Apax and Warburg Pincus needed 75pc of Inmarsat shareholders to approve the Scheme and allow the $3.3 billion takeover to complete...
[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].