Tucked away in the top left hand corner of page 2 of today's The Times was a notice about how Alistair Osborne, chief business commentator, has been named financial journalist of the year at the annual City of London Wealth Management Awards. ..
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Betaville reckons it is worthwhile reading the newspapers in the old fashioned way: by literally picking it up the newspaper and reading it myself from front to back.
Why? Well, you never know what type of juicy nuggets you might find tucked in away in diaries, stock market reports and nibs columns...
I was intrigued to read in yesterday's venerable Financial Times that the likes of News Corp, Fitch, Moody's and S&P Global are queing up to pay £1 billion of the owner of Mergermarket, one of Betaville's first employers. Below is a link to the FT piece:
If your into M&A crystal ball-gazing then Will Turvill's splash piece in the Mail on Sunday's business section is well worth a read...
Betaville is in a bad mood.
Readers might be wondering why. Well, after stumbling across a fun little scoopette over a sumptuous lunch this week Betaville got cracking with the proper journalistic protocol of calling the relevant parties this morning to provide the customary "opportunity to comment"...
Betaville has encountered plenty of bankers recently moaning about the lack dealmaking activity in the UK because of the "uncertainty" caused by the looming March 29 Brexit day.
But there was one deal where Brexit didn't even register as a risk factor: Saputo's £1 billion takeover of British cheesemaker Dairy Crest.
Hat tip to political blog Guido Fawkes for landing the story about Russell Chambers emerging as a key funder to The Independent Group, the new centrist political party foreshadowed on Betaville. Below is a link to the piece on Guido Fawkes:
I see Betaville's friends over at the Evening Standard's business section have followed up this NM Rothschild conflict of interest line and landed up a rather juicy scoop in the process.
Indeed, Russ Lynch dug out the fact that Rothschild banker Nigel Higgins, the soon-to-be chairman of scandal hit Barclays, was in fact working for John Lewis/Waitrose on an almost identical deal just a few months ago...
Impressive: the chaps at NM Rothschild have turned up as lead financial adviser to Marks & Spencer on its JV deal with Ocado.
So, the venerable merchant is now lead adviser to three of the largest food retailers in the UK - Asda/Wal-Mart, Wm Morrison and now Marks & Spencer (from memory previously Citigroup/Schroders led the charge for M&S)...
Betaville thought it only right that I follow up this week's piece with a snippet noting that it was, in fact, The Sunday Times Prufrock diarist Liam Kelly who first picked up on FTI Consulting's attempt to win an award for its "defence" of GKN, the FTSE 100-listed aerospace giant bought by Melrose.
So, many grovelling apologies for missing that Mr Kelly!
And below is a link to the young scamp's original Prufrock column:..
Spotted: Steve Mnuchin, the 77th and current United States Secretary of the Treasury.
Betaville had been loafing around Mayfair (a smart area of London that tends to attract bankers, hedgies and men in dark glasses) looking for jackanories when lo and behold Steve Mnuchin, the Donald Trump sidekick with the unpronounceable surname, appears out of nowhere...
Betaville chuckled at the titbit in Dom Walsh's business diary column in The Times today about how FTI Consulting entered the PRCA City and Financial Awards for “best M&A or communication in support of a transaction award” for its work defending GKN from last year’s £8 billion hostile takeover by Melrose Industries. Below is a link if you missed it:..
REVEALED: Qataris royals said to hire advisers for sale of Anya Hindmarch following multi-million cash injection - sources
An investment group backed by the Qatari royal family is seeking a buyer for Anya Hindmarch amid a period of tough trading for the handbag brand favoured by royals and celebrities, such as the Duchess of Cambridge, Beyonce and Keira Knightly...
Mocado, Markado and Ocamark. These are just some of the monikers being used to describe the latest Marks & Spencer / Ocado joint venture tie-up.
Anyway, hat tip to the Evening Standard's Russell Lynch for smoking out the latest iteration of the deal with his scoop today in the paper about the impending transaction. Below is a link to Russell Lynch's piece in case you missed it:..
Charming Crispin was gracious enough to talk to little old Betaville last week about the Wirecard shenanigans despite the ribbing over the past few years.
So, in you case missed it over the weekend I have pasted a link to the mini interview with Crispin - last year's pest performing hedge fund manager, according to HSBC - in yesterday's Mail on Sunday's excellent business section...
Reach 4 Entertainment confirmed Betaville's RARE ALERT yesterday but it would appear I only got hold of one aspect of the story.
Below is a link to the press release, which confirms a £3 million equity fundraising but also unveils the acquisition of Agency Press Limited:..
I see former The Sunday Times colleague, Simon Duke, is being rather mean to NM Rothschild banker Majid Ishaq in today's business diary in The Times.
Dukey gently mocks Ishaq, the man in charge of advising Asda on its merger with J Sainsbury, for a potential loss of a multi-million pound success fee after it became clear the CMA is likely to block the mega deal. Below is a link to Simon's piece:..
[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].