Friday 30 May 2014

Candy brothers turned down loan for missing skyscraper in 24 hours - I wonder why?

The missing skyscraper story I have been running on Betaville for the last couple of weeks really is worth keeping an eye on.

In another fascinating twist to the tale, it transpires that late last year, Thomas Gerrard Ryan, the mystery Irish property developer, and Hans-Olav Eldring, the former Credit Suisse private banker, approached Christian Candy's property lending division, Omni Capital Partners Limited, for a multi-million pound bridge loan to finance the Herstmere House scheme, a 74-storey residential skyscraper to be built in Canary Wharf.

Thursday 29 May 2014

Fancy a pint - part 3

Huge hat tip to Dominic Walsh over the at The Times for his scoop on Mitchells & Butlers's "exclusive" discussions to buy the Orchid pub group for about £250m.

M&B have just had to issue a statement confirming Dom's tale. Here is the link:

Wednesday 28 May 2014

So Weir Group did end up offering some cash (sort of) to Metso shareholders

Sincere apologies - I forgot to highlight in my post earlier today that Weir Group offered some cash in its latest £8.5 billion merger proposal to Finnish engineer Metso.

Some readers might not remember that a few weeks ago when I suggested Weir Group might be willing to offer some cash to Metso as part of fresh takeover proposal for the business, the company went a tad ballistic, going on the record with a non-denial, denial to any news service that would listen.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch sees £80 billion worth deals vanish in two days

Dealmakers round at Bank of America Merrill Lynch must be feeling pretty sore right now.

Why? Well, rainmakers at the US investment bank have just seen about £80 billion worth of deals go up in smoke in the last 48 hours.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Parky still firing on all cylinders

Gary Parkinson, the market reporter over at The Times, wrote another fantastic 'Trade Secrets' column yesterday.

Here is a link to Parky's highly amusing piece: 

Thursday 22 May 2014

The dealmaker, the bank and the missing skyscraper - part 3

The missing skyscraper story I did last week looks like it is really starting to heat up.

Readers may recall my sources told me a Credit Suisse banker was involved in putting together the Herstmere House project, a plan to build a £1 billion, 74-story residential skyscraper in Canary Wharf that vanished into thin air along with its mystery Irish property developer.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Back on Tip TV clip talking about Elliott and AstraZeneca, Metso and Gagfah

Sorry for the late posting Betavillers - I have been out and about all day.

Here is this morning's Tip TV clip:  The clip is worth watching if your interested in the Pfizer/AstraZeneca situation as I have picked up  some interesting gossip about AstraZeneca and US hedge fund Elliott.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Update on my missing skyscraper story

Regular readers might recall that last week I published a rather interesting tale about Herstmere House, the residential skyscraper that was supposed to be built in Canary Wharf by a mystery Irish property tycoon. Here is a link to the original article:

Anyway, since I published that piece I noticed that a lawyer from Credit Suisse (who will remain nameless) has been furiously checking out my Linked In profile. Perhaps I struck a nerve.....

Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Monday 19 May 2014

Osborne begins new era

Great to see my old colleague and sort-of boss Alistair Osborne kick off his new job at The Times with a cracking column on the Pfizer/AstraZeneca takeover situation.

Alistair is a professional wind up merchant and I was regularly on the receiving end of his wrath (any minute now I'm sure I will receive an email from him telling me off about my poor English/grammar etc) but I have to admit he is one of the finest business journalists I have ever worked with. Here is a link to Alistair's column that was published in The Times today:

AstraZeneca rejects latest Pfizer approach

Wow - AstraZeneca has rejected Pfizer's fresh £55.00 a share offer.

Now, I have to admit I didn't see that coming. I thought the raise would allow both companies to at least start talking and get an extension to the "put up or shut up" deadline.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Fancy that - Pfizer is apparently preparing to sweeten its offer for Astra

Interesting to see most of the financial media (The Sunday Times, Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and Mark Kleinman over at Sky News) reporting today Pfizer is preparing to sweeten its offer for AstraZeneca to about £55.00 a share.

I'm sure I alluded to something very similar happening on Tip TV last Thursday. Here is a link to the clip:

Friday 16 May 2014

The dealmaker, the bank and the missing skyscraper

I'm not a huge fan of Canary Wharf (I used to work there when I first started on the The Daily Telegraph) but I have just stumbled across a rather interesting tale about the financial district and one of the banks based there.

Some Betaville readers might remember that back in November last year it emerged with great fanfare that an Irish property developer was planning to build £1 billion, 74-storey residential skyscraper - to be called called Hertsmere House - on a £100 million site in Canary Wharf. Here is a link to a story in the Financial Times about the scheme:

Thursday 15 May 2014

Tuesday 13 May 2014

To go hostile or not hostile

Bloomberg, the BBC's Kamal Ahmed (a jolly nice chap and my old boss from time at The Sunday Telegraph) and Channel 4's Faisal Islam have been alluding to Pfizer potentially going "hostile" on AstraZeneca following the release of the US company's statement this morning. Here is a link to the statement: 

I think I mentioned on Sunday the "hostile" bid rumour was rattling around the market towards the end of last week. Here is a link to the article:

Monday 12 May 2014

My debut in The Times biz section with a BAT story

Evening Betavillers. Sorry for the lack of posts today - I have been a bit busy doing some freelance work for the The Times. 

Indeed, some of my followers may have noticed that I had a piece about British American Tobacco published on the front page of The Times business section this morning but for those of you that haven't here is a link to the article:

Sunday 11 May 2014

Sunday review

I'm surprised to see none of the rumours about Pfizer launching a hostile bid for AstraZeneca end up in the Sunday newspapers today.

The hostile bid rumour - and also talk that Pfizer was planning to drop its bid - were both doing the rounds among traders and hedge funds late last week. I presume there is nothing in both rumours (at this moment in time, at least) given both were being aired simultaneously and neither has ended up being stood up by a reputable Sunday newspaper.

Friday 9 May 2014

More Weir Group gossip

Sorry for the lack of posts in the last couple of days. I have been busy scurrying around in the undergrowth (mainly pubs in City of London and Mayfair hotel bars) trying to dig up some jackanories for loyal Betaville readers.

There is potentially some interesting stuff coming up but I also stumbled across one historic tale that puts an altogether different spin on Weir Group's attempt to merge with Finnish company Metso to create an £8.5 billion industrial giant.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

A deal scoop that may complete...

Happy days - it looks like a major deal story I broke earlier in the year is actually going to happen.

Often after breaking a story about a big deal - such as Borealis's £5 billion bid for Severn Trent last summer or Amec's £700m tilt for Kentz Corporation in August 2014 - the whole thing falls apart despite formal confirmation on the regulatory news service of an approach from the bidder.

Another day, another multibillion dollar pharma deal - part 2

Is Hikma Pharmaceuticals the next takeover target in the pharmaceutical sector?

The boys over The Motley Fool certainly seem to think so.

Monday 5 May 2014

Update to Whirlpool/Indesit story

Interesting to see Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore report today that Whirlpool is one of the front runners to buy a stake in Indesit, the home appliances company that sponsors Arsenal Football Club.

Here is a link to today's article from:

Saturday 3 May 2014

Another "bump" to come from Pfizer?

So Pfizer's new indicative offer for AstraZeneca came in yesterday at £50.00 a share.

Funny that, because £50.00 a share is exactly the same price I mentioned in the blog posting I published when Ben Marlow of The Sunday Times broke the original story about Pfizer having approached the FTSE 100 company a few months ago. Here is a link to the original blog posting:

Thursday 1 May 2014

Back on Tip TV talking about AstraZeneca, Cabot Oil and Gas and InterMune

I was invited back onto Tip TV this morning to talk about deals, potential upcoming deals and general backslapping for predicting Pfizer would come back for AstraZeneca.

Here is a link to today's show: