Friday 28 February 2014

OFT kicks off investigation into Guardian-backed fashion merger

Here is an interesting little story about a company backed by the Guardian Media Group.

I hear Top Right Group's acquisition of US fashion forecaster Stylesight is now being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Thursday 27 February 2014's business card part 2

I have just managed to obtain John Roberts's business card thanks to a loyal Betaville reader.

Mr Roberts is the chief executive and just made a cool £86m from the float of his online white goods retailer (good for him, by the way).

A Chinese takeaway

Interesting to see the Financial Times report today that China Mobile may want to buy stakes in European telecoms companies. See the link:

A few weeks ago I wrote in the Mail on Sunday's excellent business section that China Mobile looked at buying a significant stake in Vodafone last Autumn.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Is SFR back on Vodafone's radar?

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.

Tuesday 25 February 2014's business card

Can loyal Betaville readers get hold of, or take a picture of, the business card of John Roberts, the chief executive of 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

Monday 24 February 2014

Carphone Warehouse and Dixons merger talks scoop confirmed on RNS

Fantastic news! Dixons and Carphone Warehouse have confirmed my scoop from earlier this morning about their merger talks on the regulatory news service.

Carphone Warehouse in merger talks with Dixons to create £3.5bn electrical goods giant

Carphone Warehouse is in merger talks with Dixons Retail to create an electrical goods retailer giant with a market capitalization of more than £3.5bn.

I understand the talks between Dixons and Carphone Warehouse have reached a relatively advanced stage.

As a result, it’s possible both companies may have to confirm my story on the regulatory news service following the publication of this article.

Friday 21 February 2014

TCI founder denies purchase of north London mansions

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.

Thursday 20 February 2014

Primrose Hill hedgie is said to have also bought Belsize Park pad

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.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

£20m Primrose Hill pile supposedly snapped up by top hedgie

Which well-known hedge fund manager has recently bought this £20m plus pile in Primrose Hill?

Looks like he/she is doing some serious renovation work.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Predator circles Sweett Group

Here is a very interesting tale about one of Britain’s oldest quantity surveyors. I hear Sweett Group, formerly known as Cyril Sweett, has attracted a suitor.

Well-placed sources tell me WSP, which is now owned by Canada’s Genivar Inc, has been sniffing around Sweett Group over the last six months or so. 

Monday 17 February 2014

Parkinson on top form this morning

Gary Parkinson's Trading Secrets column in today's The Times is highly amusing - here is a link to it in case you haven't had a chance to read it.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Essar Energy scoop sets the agenda

Bloggers have set the agenda for the this weekend's newspapers.

The business sections of both The Times and The Sunday Times splashed on Betaville's Friday afternoon scoop about the billionaire Ruia brothers making an £900m offer for FTSE 250-listed Essar Energy, which was later confirmed on the regulatory news service.

It's a shame The Times and Sunday Times both failed to mention that little old Betaville broke the news but I guess you can't have everything.

Saturday 15 February 2014

Essar Global has confirmed my scoop about the Ruia brothers making a bid for Essar Energy

Essar Global, a vehicle controlled by the Ruia brothers, has confirmed my story about a potential offer for Essar Energy. I have pasted the release below:

Friday 14 February 2014

Billionaire Ruia brothers make bid to take Essar Energy private

Remember Essar Energy? The Indian oil and gas group that floated in 2010 in one of the worst debut performances of any new London-listed company in almost a decade.

Back then, the new shares were issued at 420p and slumped 7pc on the first day of trading. Since the flotation in 2010, the stock has tumbled to almost 57p.

Well, minority shareholders are about to get a shock.