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.

Mike Ashley said to be in the frame to buy...everything - Part 6

Friday, 22 March 2019, 10:04 am

Is it Mike Ashley day, today?

The maverick entrepreneur appears to making on-the-record comments everywhere this morning about everything from Arcadia to Debenhams.

To be fair, it was Deidre Hipwell who dug out some great quotes from Ashley (probably yesterday) about Sir Philip Green's Arcadia that made a superlative splash in The Times business section. Below is the link:..

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Argo Blockchain poised to start trading - sources - Part 4

Thursday, 21 March 2019, 9:31 pm

This time last year Argo Blockchain, London's first ever cryptocurrency stock, was preparing to list on the London Stock Exchange to raise £25 million.

The company, which hoped to mine for crypto currencies in China, rode the bitcoin mania wave by listing at 16p with the backing of some serious cornerstone investors and snotty PR advisers from Tancredi...

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Betaville Intelligence

RARE ALERT: Inmarsat said to...

Tuesday, 19 March 2019, 5:01 pm

Private equity firms are said to be circling Inmarsat, the London-listed satellite company.

People claiming to be familiar with the matter said Apax and Warburg Pincus are rumoured to be working on a plan to take Inmarsat private.

However, it's not clear whether the private equity firms have submitted a formal offer to Inmarsat's board - although one person claiming to be familiar with the matter suggested there is speculation an approach may be imminent...

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Tags: Inmarsat

RARE ALERT: TomCo Energy said to be working on £500,000 equity fundraising - sources

Tuesday, 19 March 2019, 2:45 pm

TomCo Energy, a London-listed shale exploration company, is said to be working on an equity fundraising.

People claiming to be familiar with the matter said TomCo is looking to raise around £500,000, possibly via a placing with equity investors.

It's thought the new stock could be priced at between 2.0p and 2.5p, said people claiming to be familiar with the matter...

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Tags: Tomco

How News Corp, Fitch and Moody's can save themselves £1 billion...

Thursday, 14 March 2019, 11:39 am

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:

https://www.ft.com/content/5a79d412-444d-11e9-a965-23d669740bfb..

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Grump...

Friday, 8 March 2019, 7:06 pm

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"...

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Brexit...who cares, say French Canadians

Thursday, 7 March 2019, 6:52 pm

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.

Why?..

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Top City banker emerges as The Independent Group fundraiser, Guido Fawkes reports

Wednesday, 6 March 2019, 11:13 am

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:

https://order-order.com/2019/03/05/tony-blairs-favourite-banker-fundraising-tig/..

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Mocado -Part 3

Tuesday, 5 March 2019, 7:30 pm

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...

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Mocado -Part 2

Monday, 4 March 2019, 7:49 pm

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)...

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Losing a hostile bid is winning, apparently...-Part 2

Saturday, 2 March 2019, 2:50 pm

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:..

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Mnuchin in Mayfair!

Friday, 1 March 2019, 6:34 pm

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...

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Losing an £8 billion hostile bid is winning, apparently...

Thursday, 28 February 2019, 10:05 pm

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:..

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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].