Monday 30 June 2014

Mike Ashley said to eye a European purchase

Interesting to see Mike Ashley's Sports Direct deny speculation that the company is planning buy shoe chain Office. Here is a link to the statement from Sports Direct:

I spent the whole of last week trying to stand up a story that Ashley - a true maverick - is trying to purchase a retailer in "Europe" (i.e. outside of the UK) for the Mail on Sunday's business section.

Friday 27 June 2014

Shaft Sinkers leaps ENRC founders win legal victory

Ever heard of Aim-listed Shaft Sinkers? Neither had I until a contact pointed out that yesterday the stock leapt 20pc for no good reason.

Now, most market players tend to pin an intra-day 20pc gain on a bid rumour but I think there is a more fundamental reason for yesterday's share price gain.

Thursday 26 June 2014

Another update to my what's missing from AbbVie's £27 billion takeover bid for Shire story?

The mystery surrounding Lazard's role in the Shire/AbbVie deal continues.

I have now firmly established from very well-placed sources that Lazard was appointed as a financial adviser to Shire last year (as Ben Marlow reported in The Sunday Times last August).

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Update to my what's missing from AbbVie's £27 billion takeover bid for Shire story?

The odds on Lazard turning up as an adviser to a bidder for Shire appear to be improving after it emerged the FTSE-100 listed company has appointed Goldman Sachs to its defence advisory team.

(This comment will only make sense if you read yesterday's Betaville piece:

Monday 23 June 2014

What's missing from AbbVie's £27 billion takeover bid for Shire?

It struck me as I was going over the weekend media coverage of AbbVie's £27 billion takeover bid for FTSE 100-listed Shire that something was missing. That something is Lazard.

I mean, I think the pertinent question is what role has the venerable financial adviser got on this deal? The reason I ask is that up until now, the corporate finance house has been linked with a having a role on various sides of this multi-billion pound pharmaceutical deal.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Another update on the missing skyscraper story

The Sunday Times and Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv have unearthed an explosive new angle on the missing skyscraper story I have been running on Betaville over the last couple of months.

Here is a link to today's piece in The Sunday Times:

Friday 20 June 2014

Latest Tip TV clip on the £27 billion takeover bid for Shire

If you are following the Shire takeover situation, this latest Tip TV clip could be of interest:

Reuters lands Shire scoop; more on Tip TV later

Great hit from Olivia Oran and Mike Stone over at Reuters with a story about AbbVie's £26 billion plus takeover approach for London-listed Shire.

Here is a link to the original Reuters piece: AbbVie have subsequently confirmed making an approach to Shire but it has been rejected. Clearly, though, this puts Shire "in play".

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Village gossip - Mergermarket founder poised to leave

Here is an interesting tale for Betaville readers interested in mergers & acquisitions reporting and financial publishing. 

I have learnt that Charlie Welsh - a former Financial News M&A reporter who set up Mergermarket, the business intelligence service for thousands of dealmakers around the world - is on the verge of leaving the company he established almost fifteen years ago.

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Another update to my Whirlpool/Indesit story

It would appear Whirlpool is still in the running to buy Fineldo's majority stake in Indesit, the Italian home appliances company that sponsors Arsenal Football Club.

Readers might recall I published a piece back in March reporting that Whirlpool was preparing a EURO 2.3 billion takeover bid for Indesit.

Monday 16 June 2014

Parky is at it again

If you have a puerile sense of humour like myself, then you might like Parky's latest column - it's hilarious but also on the money.

Here is the link:

Thursday 12 June 2014

A German Orange

Does anybody else find it a bit odd that today's media coverage of the failed merger talks between Orange and Bouygues Telecom pretty much all fail to mention the bigger industry tale that has been rattling around European markets all week - the talk of a EURO 90 billion merger between Deutsche Telekom and Orange.

I know this one has been knocking around for the last few days and a bit of an 'old chestnut' of a deal story. But this time I think there may be something in it, so it's worthwhile a mention on Betaville this morning.

Wednesday 11 June 2014

A wrinkle on today's BHP Billiton story in the FT

Good story from James Wilson over at the Financial Times today on the front page of the newspaper's Companies and Markets section. James reports BHP Billiton is looking offload all of the assets that Billiton brought to the mining giant from the historic merger of both companies in 2001.

Here is the link to James Wilson's piece:

Tuesday 10 June 2014

What do a missing skyscraper and a $60 billion financing package have in common?

Little old Betaville really has been making waves and causing trouble this week, with two of my recent jackanories ending up in reputable national newspapers this morning.

Indeed, The Guardian today published a front page (of the main book) piece on the 'missing skyscraper' series I have been running for the last month. Huge hat tip to Simon Bowers, the reporter over at The Guardian who ran the story.

Monday 9 June 2014

Fortress looks to finally get out of Gagfah

It's just hit the tape that US private equity and hedge fund manager Fortress is placing its 27pc stake in German property company Gagfah. Deutsche Bank is doing the placing for Fortress, which bought Gagfah in 2004 for £2 billion.

I think I alluded to something being afoot with Gagfah a few weeks ago on Tip TV - - although not quite what has been announced this morning.

Sorrell (junior) back on the acquisition trail

I see Jonathan Sorrell, the son of WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell, is up to his old tricks again.

Some readers might not recall that Jonathan Sorrell used to work at Goldman Sachs as a corporate financier. In the latter stages of his investment banking career, he was responsible for running Petershill - an investment fund that was set up in 2007 by Goldman Sachs to buy stakes in booming hedge fund management companies.

Friday 6 June 2014

Back on Tip TV talking about S&N, InterMune and a $60 billion financing package

Betavillers can check out my new celebrity haircut on today's clip from Tip TV in which I talk about Smith & Nephew, InterMune and talk of a $60 billion financing package being put together by a US corporate for a European deal. Enjoy:

Thursday 5 June 2014

Another update on the missing skyscraper story

I see Richard Berridge has been checking out my Linked In profile. For Betaville readers that don't recall, Mr Berridge is the chief operating officer of Ryan Corporation, the company behind last year's  proposed scheme to build a 74-story residential skyscraper in Canary Wharf.

Back in November last year, the Financial Times quoted Mr Berridge as saying: "Canary Wharf is one of the few places in the UK where you can build a tall building. It's time for a very good residential building of a very high standard; that is that has been lacking until now".

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Double basement

Here's a piece of advice for any hedge fund manager looking to substantially renovate their multi-million pound London pile: you are likely to irritate the other people that live in your street.

And that appears to be what is happening in Belsize Park - a favourite for some of London's most successful hedgies.

Monday 2 June 2014