Betaville spends a lot of time talking to top City of London dealmakers even when they are working from home. Most of them say that everything that was being looked at by potential acquirers prior to early March is either off or on hold. Some M&A bankers are looking at moving into restructuring...
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 email@example.com. 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.
Here is a bit of light reading to get you through these troubling times.
Do you remember Betaville's tale about Sir Chris Hohn's denial of the purchase of a north London mansion? I came across the story when I first set up Betaville in 2014. Below is the link to my original piece:..
So, it would appear Neil "Neily" Craven was bang on the money with yesterday's story about WH Smith weighing an equity capital raising. In case you don't recall, below is a link to Neil's piece:
Hat tip to Oliver Shah, Sabah Meddings, Gabriel Pogrund and Caroline Wheeler at The Sunday Times for digging out today's main book scoop about how the Abu Dhabi-owned ExCel centre was trying to charge the NHS between £2 million and £3 million in rent to the NHS for the new Nightingale hospital. Below is the link:..
A hearty congratulations goes out to former colleague Philip Aldrick, economics editor at The Times. Today he won the the Business and Finance Journalist of the Year award from the Society of Editors.
I have worked across the business desks of 'Fleet Street' for a quite a while and I couldn't think of a more diligent but understated journalist as Phil Aldrick, who I used to work alongside at The Daily Telegraph several years ago...
I see The Times business section today ran a piece on the front page of its business section about Nestle buying Lily's Kitcken, the upmarket pet food brand.
Now that won't come as much of surprise to regular followers of my work as I first broke the news of Lily's Kitchen hiring advisers late last year in the Mail on Sunday's business section. See below:..
It's tough to get excited about bid tales in this awful bear market. But today there was a line tucked away in the Alex Brummer's column in the business section of the Daily Mail that might give bulls something to chew over...
"Airlines have got shareholders who should put THEIR hands in their own pockets". That's what Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, just said when asked about whether UK-based airlines should be given government-backed bailouts on Radio 4 this morning...
Was anybody aware that Sir Paul Marshall, one of Britain's most sucessful hedge fund managers, had written a book?
Well, Betaville certainly wasn't until intreprid hack Tom Teodorczuk at Financial News discovered the founder Marshall Wace, which manages about £40 billion, published the book a few weeks ago. Below is a link to Tom's scoop:..
Clearly, there are more important things happening in the world at the moment than mergers & acquisitions.
In fact, the global crisis has effectively completely upended the dealmaking market, with Bloomberg reporting that many M&A bankers are trying to reinvent themselves as restructuring advisers...
HSBC's hedgie leaders and laggards: Saba Capital tops the leaderboard; Lansdowne Princay Fund is Europe's worst performer
Ping! HSBC's HedgeWeekly publication arrives with the performance figures of Europe's best and worst performing hedge funds.
Now, given Crispin Odey has been a big bear since 2015 and this weekend the old buffer told Betaville he had made £115 million in March you might expect his flagship fund to be the best performer...
It sounds like there is more to the sale of Robert Tchenguiz's 6pc shareholding in FirstGroup than meets the eye.
Last week, brokers to the flamboyant property entrepreneur forced him to sell is investment after he failed to come up with the "margin" (cash to fund the leveraged position held by spreadbetting firms), say people following the situation...
Robert Tchenguiz may have bailed out of FirstGroup but his chum at Coast Capital is upping its shareholding in the bus and rail company.
According to a regulatory filing, activist investor Coast Capital now owns almost 14pc of FirstGroup. See the link below:
Loyal readers might have noticed an interview piece with Crispin Odey written by yours truly in this weekend's Mail on Sunday. Well, below is a link in case you missed it:
Punters placing bets LVMH's $16 billion takeover of Tiffany could be in trouble, according to Gasparino - Part 4
The mystery surrounding LVMH's intentions to buy Tiffany for $16 billion continues.
This morning LVMH has issued a statement that it is "currently committed" to NOT buy shares in Tiffany. Below is a link:
Punters placing bets LVMH's $16 billion takeover of Tiffany could be in trouble, according to Gasparino - Part 3
So, Tiffany's shares leapt almost 14pc last night to $126 after Bloomberg reported LVMH is looking at ways to take advantage of the discount to its £$135 offer price by buying stock in the market. Below is the link to the Bloomie scoop:..
Poor old Robert Tchenguiz. Yesterday, the property entrepreneur said he had sold his 6pc shareholding in FirstGroup, the bus and rail company he has been pushing to break itself up by spinning off its US businesses...
So, according to Bloomberg, Crispin Odey's uber-bearishly positioned fund is already up by 20pc this month.
Now, it would be easy to take pop at the old cassandra for shorting the market into a public health crisis but the thing is he has been directionally short for the last four years and, as a result, suffered excruciating losses over the last five years...
Punters placing bets LVMH's $16 billion takeover of Tiffany could be in trouble, according to Gasparino - Part 2
Wow: Tiffany is down almost 10pc, trading around $115 a share.
That's quite a discount to LVMH's $135 / $16 billion cash offer price. I guess Gasparino was barking up the right tree on Friday with his note about punters placing bets on the deal falling through - although I'm not quite sure how that would work in practicality...
I realise people, politicians and markets are rather preocupied at the moment with something very imporant but for a bit of light relief I note the return of Gerard Griffin to Britain's business pages.
Now, younger readers will likely to be saying: "who he?"...
[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].