A cheeky website about deals, dealmakers and anything else I find interesting. Edited by Ben Harrington. If you have a tip or want to discuss a story please feel free to email Betaville at ben@betaville.co.uk. Betaville can also be reached at Whats App, Signal or Telegram. Betaville's Twitter handle is @bharringtonw11 and you can message me via Twitter with stories.

BigDish brewing...

Friday, 19 July 2019, 8:48 am

Betaville has been advised by a few men in dark glasses to "keep an eye on" Aim-listed BigDish, the online restaurant bookings platform.

Why? Well, to be clear the upcoming story has nothing to do with M&A, deals or takeovers.

According to Betaville's moles, there are some rather "interesting characters" that are on the verge of joining the company.

Watching.....

Read more...

Betaville Intelligence

RARE ALERT: Crystal Amber Fund said to ...

Wednesday, 17 July 2019, 4:52 pm

Last week it was Morses Club; this week Woodford Investment Management is selling out of Crystal Amber Fund, the activist investor run by wily old Richard Bernstein.

According to people claiming to be familiar with the matter, Neil Woodford's firm just dumped some or all of its 17pc stake in Crystal Amber Fund at around 190p.

That doesn't sound too good given the shares were trading at 223p in May, closed this evening at 196p and have a Net Asset Value of 249p...

Read more...

Betaville Intelligence

RARE ALERT: Plus500 said to... - Part 2

Tuesday, 16 July 2019, 5:44 pm

It's happened again: Betaville publises a piece behind the paywall and before you know it the article is mis-represented/aggregated by the wires and twisted into something completely false by random (or maybe not?) punters on Twitter.

In case you are wondering what I am complaining about I am referring to yesterday's RARE ALERT about Plus500. Below is the link, which I have now made publicly available so people can see what I REALLY published...

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Betaville Intelligence

RARE ALERT: Plus500 said to...

Monday, 15 July 2019, 10:45 pm

Plus500 is rumoured to be eyeing a tie-up with US rival GAIN Capital but people familiar with the situation tried to pour cold water on the prospect of an imminent deal.

Industry sources claiming to be familiar with the matter said they had heard speculation the London-listed company is weighing a bid for GAIN Capital although it wasn't clear whether Plus500 has made a formal approach for the company...

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Tags: Plus500

Sunday review on a Monday: BT Group, Phoenix Group and Thomas Cook

Monday, 15 July 2019, 8:49 am

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, appreared to definitively rule out any potential re-nationalisation of BT Group in yesterday's The Sunday Times following reports from Yahoo Finance a couple of weeks ago that Labour was looking at the possibility of taking the telecoms giant back into public ownership.

Below is the link to Oliver Shah and John Collingridge's fascinating piece in yesterday's business sections:..

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The strange goings-on with Thomas Cook's debt...- Part 3

Friday, 12 July 2019, 6:56 am

No wonder credit default swaps on Thomas Cook's bonds (effectively the cost of bond insurance) were blowing out earlier this week.

Overnight, the details of some funky debt-for-equity swap deal emerged via the Kleimmanator of Sky News (to be fair, it was a good scoop) with Fosun, the Chinese conglomerate that is already Thomas Cook's largest shareholders. Below is the link:..

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Betaville Intelligence

RARE ALERT: Morses Club said to ...

Wednesday, 10 July 2019, 4:47 pm

Another day, another Woodford exit from the stock market.

People claiming to be familiar with the matter have told Betaville Neil Woodford is close to dumping his 10pc stake in Morses Club, another one of the fund manager's lender investments, at around 130p a share.

Woodford Investment Management also owns big shareholdings in Provident Financial and Non-Standard Finance, which earlier this year were involved in a hostile takeover...

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Betaville Intelligence

UNCOOKED ALERT: Ontex said to ... - Part 2

Tuesday, 9 July 2019, 4:43 pm

It has been brought to my attention that the Spanish financial website Intereconomia is reporting that Proctor & Gamble has hired Goldman Sachs to launch a takeover bid for Ontex, the Belgian diaper maker, and linking this bid story to Betaville.

This is a complete misrepresentation of what I wrote several weeks ago in an UNCOOKED ALERT...

Read more...

Tags: Ontex

The strange goings-on with Thomas Cook's debt...- Part 2

Tuesday, 9 July 2019, 2:14 pm

Thomas Cook's debt is coming back into focus as a few punters have noticed credit default swaps for some of the company's bonds are blowing out a tad.

According to Bloomberg data, the CDS - the cost of insurance for a bond - for one Thomas Cook note has leapt by 12000 basis points or around 120pc while the security flirts with an all time low of 34 cents (its denominated in EUROS)...

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Sunday review - ITV

Sunday, 7 July 2019, 11:00 pm

Oliver Shah's business comment piece in this weekend's The Sunday Times contains an interesting snippet for ITV watchers: an activist investor is rumoured to be studying the possibility of buying a stake in the broadcaster.

The piece goes on to speculate about how the company could look at splitting itself in two or a combination with a rival, such as Germany's ProSieben. Below is a link:..

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Flutter followers all aflutter about, er, short covering...

Thursday, 4 July 2019, 9:07 am

Today's serious newspapers - the venerable Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Times - pin Flutter's 20pc share price gain during yesterday's session to various bid rumour theories.

US stakebuilding, private equity or a takeover offer from various competitors were tipped as reasons for the share price surge in the company formerly known as Paddy Power Betfair...

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[Disclaimer - the information on Betaville does not consitute any form of investment recommendation and is not intended to be relied upon by readers in making, or refraining from, any investment decisions].