Thursday 30 April 2015

That meeting

Looking over last week's coverage of Deutsche Bank's $2.5 billion fine for fixing the Libor rate it struck me little has been made of fact that interest rate manipulation was being discussed at a British Bankers Association board meeting all the way back in 2008.

Indeed, tucked away at the back of the Financial Conduct Authority's press release is a rather interesting nugget:

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Hotel buzz - part 2

So, it would appear little old Betaville made the right call running the story about Starwood Hotels, Senator and InterContinental Hotels a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday 28 April 2015

The BP political conundrum

There are some brilliant comment columns in today's British newspapers on the UK government's decision to tell BP it's not too keen on the idea of a foreign bidder gobbling up the FTSE 100 oil producer. 

Both Alistair Osborne of The Times and Nils Pratley of The Guardian make some good points in their respective opinion pieces on David Cameron's move whilst Alistair's colleagues suggest in a news article that Exxon Mobil is the most likely acquirer of BP.

Finally - Kier announces takeover of Mouchel

I'm glad to see that Kier Group has finally announced the £265 million takeover of Mouchel. Readers might recall that I broke the story late last year on Tip TV and Betaville - here is a link - that Kier Group was in talks to buy Mouchel for a decent chunk of change.

Kier is funding the deal with a £340 million equity capital fundraising.

Monday 27 April 2015

Back on Tip TV talking about Quindell, BP, BioMarin and Sky

Zak invited back onto Tip TV today. Here is a link to today's session:

Marlow cooks up another massive drugs deal

Ben Marlow's comment column in today's The Daily Telegraph caught my eye this morning. Not only is it a well written piece of prose but it also contains a story I myself had been chasing for the last month or so.

Ben's comment column - click on the link - appears to suggest US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is plotting a multi-billion bid for GlaxoSmithKline.

Thursday 23 April 2015

A Stemcor snippet - mystery US trade buyer swoops on steel trader - part 2

Some of my lending sources have got back in touch regarding the Stemcor story I wrote earlier this week.

Word is this "mystery US trade buyer" (see my previous post) has offered more for Stemcor's UK steel trading operations than what Apollo, the US vulture fund, is proposing as part of a debt-for-equity swap.

Wednesday 22 April 2015

A newspaper review on a Wednesday

There are plenty of great market tales knocking about in the mainstream press today.

I particularly enjoyed Ben Martin's main story in his market report in The Daily Telegraph. IMI's shares were volatile - gaining 5pc - during yesterday's trading session and Ben found out why: a trader mis-interpreted a Bloomberg story, thinking IMI had received a takeover a bid when in fact the newswire was referring to an Isreael-based company with the same abbreviated name.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

A Stemcor snippet - mystery US trade buyer swoops on steel trader

I picked up an interesting nugget on the Stemcor situation scurrying around in the undergrowth this afternoon.

For readers that don't recall, Stemcor - one of Britain's largest privately-owned companies - is in a tough situation following a financial restructuring.

Monday 20 April 2015

Sunday 19 April 2015

A weekend review

There were plenty of interesting business stories in the weekend newspapers this weekend but the ones that caught my eye were the tales involving Quindell, the controversial AIM-listed business.

Ben Martin, market reporter over at The Daily Telegraph, did well to get some quotes out of Robert Terry, the former chairman and founder of the business, about his plans for Daniel Stewart, the stockbroker. Here is a link to Ben's piece:

Thursday 16 April 2015

Now this is a surprise - Rob Terry buys massive stake in Daniel Stewart - part 3

Wow - Daniel Stewart has just released a statement on the Regulatory News Service this evening telling the market Rob Terry, the founder and former chairman of Quindell, has asked the Financial Conduct Authority for permission to increase his stake in the stockbroker to above 10pc.

I have a theory about what might be going on here but for the moment I will keep it to myself.

Burmese business

Ping - an email arrives with the headline: "in the land of the internet virgins".

Now, before readers start to get the wrong idea let me explain this email contains one of the first bits of equity research on a company based in Myanmar, which has been emerging from five decades of military dictatorship.

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Quelle surprise: Agnellis launch multi-billion dollar insurance/reinsurance takeover deal

It would appear Exor - the Agnelli family trust - has bitten the bullet and moved on from buying a 20pc stake in Swiss Re.

Exor - controlled by chairman and CEO John Elkann - has just announced it is launching a $6.4 billion all cash takeover offer for US-listed insurance and reinsurance company PartnerRe, trumping a previous $11 billion merger with Axis Capital. Here is a link to the Exor press release:

Mega deals are back in vogue ... and so are the rows with British banks over mis-selling and Libor - part 2

I have a little update to my story last week on the ongoing row between Guardian Care Homes and Lloyds Banking Group. In case you don't recall, here is a link to last week's story:

A Sunday review on a Tuesday

Sorry for the lack of posts Betavillers - I have been away for a few days.

Anyway, after catching up on the last few days' business coverage it struck me that none of the mainstream press have followed up Oliver Shah's latest piece on the sale of BHS in The Sunday Times this weekend. Here is the link:

Saturday 11 April 2015

A newspaper review on a, er ... Thursday - part 2

Mark Kleinman of Sky News is now reporting that International Paper has hired Deutsche Bank to mount a £6 billion bid for Irish paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa. Here is a link to Kleinman's piece:

Friday 10 April 2015

Now this is a surprise - Rob Terry buys a massive stake in Daniel Stewart - part 2

Harriet Agnew, intrepid hackette over at the Financial Times, has come up with an compelling theory on why Rob Terry, founder and former chairman of Quindell, bought a 7.4pc stake in stockbroker Daniel Stewart last week.

If your interested in this rather bemusing situation, here is a link to Harriet's City Insider column:

Thursday 9 April 2015

A newspaper review on a, er ... Thursday

Unsurprisingly the Shell/BG Group £47 billion mega deal has dominated the front pages of the business press and, indeed, some of the main books (newsroom parlance for the front home news section of a journal).

But tucked away at the back The Times business section is a rather interesting nugget in Gary Parkinson's market report.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Mega deals are back in vogue...and so are the rows with British banks over mis-selling and Libor

I realise today has been all about the return of the "mega deal" - see Shell's £47 billion purchase of BG Group or Mylan's $30 billion takeover offer for Perrigo - but I also noticed that a fresh legal claim against Lloyds Banking Group appears to be getting significant traction in the mainstream press.

Earlier this week my old Telegraph colleague Harry Wilson, now City Editor at The Times, revealed in his publication that Guardian Care Homes - run by Gary Hartland, the man who cost Barclays £40 million as part of a settlement over interest rate swap mis-selling - has launched a new legal claim against Lloyds.

WSJ reporting Shell in talks to buy BG Group for more than $45 billion - boom - part 2

Huge hat tips to hackettes Dana Mattioli and Shayndi Raice over at the Wall Street Journal for last night's mega scoop on Royal Dutch Shell buying BG Group for £47 billion. Here is the confirmation/deal announcement:

I'm sure their bosses, one of whom was responsible for breaking the Exxon Mobil merger story in 1999, will be pleased with this result...

Tuesday 7 April 2015

WSJ reporting Shell in talks to buy BG Group for more than $45 billion! - boom

It would appear the venerable Wall Street Journal has got the scoop of the day, week and, possibly, year. Check this out:

Not another Quindell story!

I haven't written about Quindell for a while so I thought loyal readers deserved a little update from Betaville.

I understand that since Quindell began looking at selling its legal services unit late last year to Australian law firm Slater & Gordon the Aim-listed company has also received approaches for several other divisions.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Quindell shares suspended!

Quindell's shares have been suspended, which seems to have caused mass panic and triggered all sorts of wild speculation.

Well, I have been told that the reason for the suspension comes down to more of technical issue rather than anything else.