Gary, a market reporter over at The Times, and his colleague Robert Lea have just landed a cracking scoop about Weir Group trying to merge with Finland's Metso as part of an £8.5bn deal. Here is a link the piece: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/industrials/article4050660.ece
The Times scoop is "on the money", according to some of my sources. It will be interesting to see whether Weir Group confirms the story or whether it decides to put its "tools down" for a few months to avoid making a confirmation on the RNS.
"Tools down" or "down tools" is investment banker parlance and means when a company and its corporate finance advisers tell the Takeover Panel the business won't bid for a rival for several months after being outed in the media. Often, such an agreement allows companies to put out misleading non-denial, denial statements (I can recall a few!).
Of course, loyal Betaville readers would have got a whiff of Gary's scoop a few weeks ago as I picked up something was "going on" with Metso and speculated it might be a merger with Weir Group. Here is a link the original Betaville piece: http://www.betaville123.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/metso-under-spotlight.html#more
(Just to be clear, I am not taking anything away from Gary and Robert's scoop here. If I had as much conviction as Gary and Robert about Weir Group bidding for Metso, I would have written in that style at the time of the original piece I published. Gary and Robert are the real deal!).
Both companies have confirmed The Times scoop. Here is the Weir Group statement: