Tuesday 31 May 2016

Back on Tip TV talking about Royal Mail, Pacific Biosciences and Actelion

Loyal readers might have been worried that Tip TV had given me the chop after several weeks without a clip being re-published on little old Betaville.

But fear not - I haven't been on the show because Tip TV have been moving studios. And today my old mucker Moose (aka Nick Batsford) invited me back for a sit down with man-about-town Zak Mir.

RARE Alert: Israeli property giant said to be weighing outright purchase of Atrium European Real Estate Limited - part 2

I have a little update on that piece of RARE on Atrium European Real Estate I stumbled across last week.

In case you don't remember, within the story I wrote last week I noted that eastern European shopping mall operator Atrium was looking at other options should the Gazit Globe deal fall over.

Monday 30 May 2016

Bank holiday review

Working at a British national newspaper over a bank holiday weekend can be particularly torturous. That's because, typically, there aren't many cracking business stories to be followed over a 72 hour period in which British markets have shut down.

However, this bank holiday weekend has been turned on its head. Hacks over the Financial Times landed an absolute corker yesterday about the Rothschild Investment Trust trying to merge with the Alliance Trust as part of a deal to create a £5 billion investment giant. Hat tip to the trio of intrepid journos by-lined on that tale. Here is the link:

Thursday 26 May 2016

When "old" becomes new news - part 2

Old deal stories that haven't made into the public domain yet are clearly becoming super fashionable in the mainstream business press.

Today the venerable Financial Times ran a piece about how a mid-level executive at Apple floated the idea of purchasing Time Warner in a meeting with another mid-level executive. Here is the link to the FT piece:

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Tuesday 24 May 2016

RARE Alert: Israeli property giant said to be weighing outright purchase of Atrium European Real Estate Limited

Another piece of random RARE has landed on my desk.

Word is Gazit Globe, the Tel Aviv-based shopping centre giant, is keen on buying out the remainder of Atrium European Real Esate Limited that it doesn't own.

Rob Terry said to be unwilling to back £2 million Imaginatik fundraising

Controversial businessman Rob Terry doesn't plan to participate in Imaginatik's £2 million cash call.

Readers will remember that last week I broke the story about how AIM-listed tiddler Imaginatik was plotting a £2 million fundraising via a placing and open offer.

Monday 23 May 2016

Quelle Surprise: Argus Media sold in £1 billion deal

Hat tip to Neil Hume over at the Financial Times for landing the final twist in the tale of the sale of Argus Media and congratulations to all the journalists who work at the information service as many will soon become multi-millionaires. Here is the link to Neil's story:


Friday 20 May 2016

Thursday 19 May 2016

RARE Alert: Apollo/Casual Dining Group said to be circling the Restaurant Group

Loyal readers will have picked up on my scepticism about the recent Restaurant Group bid rumours in my "Burnt fingers" series. However, perhaps too much time in journalism (over a decade now) can make you too cynical.

So, I'm prepared to air a Restaurant Group takeover tale that I have stumbled across recently as it contains a lot more detail than your standard "private equity" bid rumours that go around the market every couple of weeks.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

The curious case of the BHS dealmaker, the Nottingham-based sock maker and the Swiss retailer

Just when you thought it couldn't get any more bizarre, little old Betaville can add another intriguing twist to the BHS saga.

It turns out that Paul Sutton - the dealmaker who reportedly worked on the original sale of BHS to Dominic Chappell's Retail Acquisitions - has been cooking up another multi-million pound takeover deal. In fact, Olly Shah of The Sunday Times already alluded to this potential deal in one of his past scoops on BHS.

Imaginatik said to be working on £2 million equity fundraising - part 2

Great to see another Betaville scoopette confirmed this morning on the UK's regulatory news service.

Here are the links to the confirmations to this morning's jackanory.

Imaginatik said to be working on £2 million equity fundraising

Imaginatik, in which controversial businessman Rob Terry has been re-building a substantial stake, is preparing a £2 million equity fundraising.

City sources told little old Betaville that Finn Cap, Imaginatik's brokers, is working on a plan to raise £1.5 million via a placing and £500,000 via an open offer to investors.

Sunday 15 May 2016

Weekend review

There were a couple of pieces in the Saturday business sections that caught my eye.

In particular, I enjoyed Fletch's interview with Justin King, the former J Sainsbury boss who is now a top bod over at private equity firm Terra Firma. I would provide readers with a link to Fletch's article but The Times has done something weird to its website which means I can't find the link.

Friday 13 May 2016

AAC Capital said to consider £100 million plus sale of Dunlop Aviation Tyres

The former buy-out arm of ABN Amro is weighing a £100 million plus sale of one of Britain's oldest manufacturing businesses.

City sources said AAC Capital, which used to be part of Dutch bank ABN Amro, asked corporate finance advisers to pitch for a sell side mandate a couple of years ago but up until now the private equity firm has waited for the right moment to begin the sale process.

Thursday 12 May 2016

Boom to bust in just a few months - part 2

Strange - Bloomberg hacks are now arguing the dealmaking boom isn't over. Here is the link:


I'm confused...

Boom to bust in a just a few months

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly things can change in mega cap dealmaking.

Last year, markets witnessed record breaking takeovers - such as Anheuser-Busch Inbev's £75 billion takeover of SAB Miller and Royal Dutch Shell's £40 billion purchase of BG Group - but the first few months of this year has seen M&A activity fall of a cliff, with several major announced deals collapsing altogether.

Wednesday 11 May 2016

The imprisoned Libor trader, the property developer and the bank

Tom Hayes, the imprisoned Libor trader, has seen a huge response to his fundraising efforts for his appeal.

So far, according to the website, Hayes has raised £16,890. Here is the link if you want to make a donation.

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Retail titbits - part 2

It's pretty quiet in private equity land (thanks to the Brexit referendum) but here's a little update on the Radley auction I wrote about last week.

Piper Private Equity said to be in talks to buy Propercorn stake

It's funny how in dealmaking in certain sectors suddenly becomes fashionable. And this week it's popcorn that is in vogue.

Word on the street is that Propercorn has been working with NM Rothschild on a stake sale and is in talks with Piper Equity Partners about a deal.

Monday 9 May 2016

Navel gazing

Deal watchers interested in understanding how M&A reporting works might be interested in signing up to an event being held by the Cass Business School's "M&A Research Centre".

The academic institution has lined up the great and the good of M&A reporters past and present to carry out a debate about deal reporting, how this style of journalism has changed in the last few years and how it will change in the future. Here is the link:

Quelle Surprise: Chinese group emerges as stake builder in Imagination Technologies

I see Imagination Technologies has just disclosed that Chinese outfit Tsinghua Unigroup International  has bought a 3pc stake in the chip designer.

Regular readers of little old Betaville should be aware that six months ago I raised the prospect of  mystery Chinese suitor circling Imagination Technologies on Tip TV. In case you don't recall, here are the links:

Sunday 8 May 2016

Sunday review

There weren't many large cap M&A scoops in the Sunday business sections this weekend but I guess that's to be expected in the run up to the Brexit referendum.

One tale, though, that did catch my eye was about Royal Bank of Scotland facing a £400 million claim in The Sunday Telegraph. Here is the link:

Friday 6 May 2016

Friday Fun - the billionaire entrepreneur, the intrepid hack and, er, Twitter

Is that Benji Martin sitting alongside Sir Richard Branson (see below)?

Well, if it is I take my hat off to the top Telegraph reporter because I have to admit, I can't say I ever got to appear in a public picture with such a powerful business person during my 8-year career on the paper.

Thursday 5 May 2016

Retail titbits

Here are a couple of retail industry snippets I stumbled across whilst galavanting around the City (of London) today looking for stories.

First of, it would appear the sale of handbag maker Radley is progressing, with bids said to have been submitted last week.

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Burnt fingers - part 2

Market punters that like to bet on the next takeover deal are likely to be experiencing burnt fingers for the second time in a week.

That's because the outgoing chairman of SOBI, a Sweden-based rare disease drug developer, slotted 8m shares last night, suggesting the company has not been approached by buyer.

Tuesday 3 May 2016

Is Odey still bearish or turning bullish - part 2

Ping! An email arrives with the latest Odey Asset Management investor letter.

Whilst the fund's overall performance - down about 31pc since the beginning of the year to the middle of April - made headlines a couple of weeks ago in the venerable Financial Times, I can provide a bit of colour about where the old buffer has taken a hit in his flagship Odey European Fund.

Monday 2 May 2016

Sunday review; and Mike Ashley to save BHS? - part 2

It's been another tricky weekend for Sir Philip Green. In fact, the boisterous billionaire's reputation took a serious battering in the UK business press throughout the whole of last week following the confirmation of the BHS administration.

What must be particularly galling for Sir Philip is those newspapers that have up until now held back from critiquing the entrepreneur could no longer sit on the sidelines and it pretty much became open season on the pugnacious retailer.