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.
Interesting to see Pirelli and Rosneft announce this morning the Russian gas giant has acquired a significant stake in the tyre group's holding company.
Back in January I came across a story about Rosneft and Goldman Sachs's private equity unit teaming up to back a management buy-out of Pirelli.
I checked the story out with Rosneft, Goldman Sachs (neither of whom commented) and Pirelli's spokesperson, who vehemently denied to the tale...
Here is a tale about a potential US deal that may have significant implications for Newcastle United Football Club.
Good sources tell me the American cable group AMC Networks has been sniffing around World Wrestling Entertainment Inc, the US-listed company behind those wrestling programmes, such as Raw and Smackdown...
I think I might have landed another genuine scoop. Here it is:
I understand a trust controlled by Italy's Agnelli family has been holding talks with Swiss Re about buying a 20pc stake in the insurance giant worth up to 8bn Swiss Francs.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the Agnelli family trust is planning to buy the 20pc stake in Swiss Re by making a 'tender offer' to all shareholders with an agreement from the Swiss Re board...
I hear one of the largest flotations in Europe is getting close to lift off.
ING, which was bailed out by the Dutch government after the financial crisis, confirmed earlier this year it has already appointed JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and, funnily enough, ING on a potential listing of its insurance business...
Gary Parkinson, stockmarket correspondent at The Times, has produced another excellent 'Trade Secrets' column this morning.
It's a piece that combines incredible writing with profound understanding of how the City's dealmaking machine works.
The column is really worth a read. Here is the link: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/columnists/article4027906.ece..
A Finnish company called Metso has caught my eye.
Metso shares were up 5pc yesterday and are up another 1.5pc today (readers should be aware the stock crashed at the beginning of the year).
There has been vague talk doing the rounds all week that there is "something going on" with Metso
- which supplies technology to resources companies - although none of my sources seem to know precisely what...
Mr Wilson also said the turnaround at the FTSE 100 insurer is 'intensifying'...
What is it with top hedge fund managers and beautiful properties in Belsize Park?
I hear from knowledgeable sources this lovely mansion - http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-21869253.html - is being sold by one of London's most successful hedgies of the noughties credit boom.
Hat tip to the boys over at FT Alphaville for breaking the Reynolds American bid for Lorrilard story on Markets Live this morning...
Here is an interesting little story about a company backed by the Guardian Media Group.
I have just managed to obtain John Roberts's business card thanks to a loyal Betaville reader.
Mr Roberts is the chief executive AO.com and just made a cool £86m from the float of his online white goods retailer (good for him, by the way).
It's not a big, clear photo but it's an image nonetheless.
Here you go:
Interesting to see the Financial Times report today that China Mobile may want to buy stakes in European telecoms companies. See the link: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1ffe8c84-9e20-11e3-95fe-00144feab7de.html#axzz2uLMyQZUz..
There is a peculiar theory (to be clear, this is just a rumour and not a genuine scoop like some of my previous posts) doing the rounds in the market. It goes something like this: Vodafone is interested in buying French telecoms company SFR back from Vivendi.
Can loyal Betaville readers get hold of, or take a picture of, the business card of John Roberts, the chief executive of AO.com?
AO.com is the appliances business that is due to imminently list on the London market with a valuation of almost £1.5bn.
I am told Mr Roberts's business card is rather amusing. If you do come across it, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org...
Fantastic news! Dixons and Carphone Warehouse have confirmed my scoop from earlier this morning about their merger talks on the regulatory news service.
I have pasted the most important parts of the announcement below:..
Chris Hohn, the founder of The Children's Investment Fund, has denied he is the secretive hedge fund manager who has recently been snapping up beautiful properties in Belsize Park and Primrose Hill.
Some of my sources claimed Mr Hohn, who is well-known in the City for his aggressive style of shareholder activism, was behind the purchase of the Belsize Park property (see the picture below) in yesterday's Betaville post...
The mysterious tale involving the hedgie and the £20m plus Primrose Hill mansion continues.
Some of my sources are sure the secretive hedge fund manager has recently bought another beautiful property in Belsize Park - just round the corner from Primrose Hill pile.
Looks like he/she is doing some serious renovation work.
Indeed, multi-million pound renovations, such as sticking an olympic size swimming pool on a second lower ground floor underneath your brand new mansion seems to be the vogue thing to do nowadays. Whether that's the plan with this lovely house remains to be seen...
[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].