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.

What do WM Morrison and Marks & Spencer both have in common (apart from being large food retailers)?

Thursday, 15 November 2018, 9:45 am

The answer is: a corporate broker (an English concept whereby a company retains an investment bank to be its "interface" with the stock market).

Yes, Betaville learned last night whilst out a top quality party packed with City grandees (such as Lord Myners, former chairman of Marks & Spencer), investment bankers and chief executives that Shore Capital had displaced Citigroup as corporate broker to Marks & Spencer...

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The bank scoop, the intrepid hack and the old team...

Wednesday, 7 November 2018, 8:47 am

Harry Wilson, City Editor of The Times, dug out a cracking scoop yesterday (or most likely the day before but it only appeared in print in yesterday's edition).

The intrepid hack discovered that Aaron Banks - the insurance "tycoon" and under fire funder of the Leave.EU campaign - had asked Oakwell Capital to find a buyer for his 29.1pc stake in Manx Financial Group, the Isle of Man's largest lender. Below is a link to Harry's piece:..

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Betaville Intelligence

RARE ALERT: WPP said to ... part 6

Saturday, 3 November 2018, 8:22 am

There was a rather interesting piece on Bloomberg yesterday about how Sir Martin Sorrell, the former WPP boss, held talks with Warren Buffett six years ago about selling the advertising giant to the Sage of Omaha.

Sir Martin appears to have disclosed the historical talks at an event by Campaign magazine and Bloomberg picked up on it...

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Tags: WPP

That £560 million Restaurant Group takeover of Wagamama...

Tuesday, 30 October 2018, 10:35 pm

Hat tip to Dom Walsh of The Times business section for landing the scoop about Restaurant Group buying Wagamama for £560 million.

But Betaville was a tad surprised to learn of Restaurant Group's decision to buy Wagamama. That's because the last time I dined with an old City contact at the Japanese food chain the grub was decidely average and within a couple of minutes of finishing my meal Betaville endured a rather upset stomach...

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Betaville Intelligence

RARE ALERT: Crawshaw said to be working on £3 million equity fundraising - sources

Thursday, 25 October 2018, 5:46 pm

Debenhams isn't the only listed retailer plotting a major store closure programme.

Crawshaw Group, the listed value butcher, is working on a plan to raise between £2.5 million and £3.5 million as part of a major financial restructuring that could see the company close a number of stores, said sources claiming to be familiar with the matter...

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Is the tide turning for Odey the Brexiteer? - part 35

Thursday, 25 October 2018, 9:55 am

Wow - a year really can make a difference in hedge fund investing.

Crispin Odey's flagship was up 38pc as of the end of September, according to the latest HSBC ranking of top European hedge funds.

That means the old buffer is more than likely to finish the year as the top performing European hedgie in Europe...

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Why has the Tabors' Global gone so nuts for "out of home" advertising deals?

Friday, 19 October 2018, 5:43 pm

Global has been gobbling up so-called "out of home" advertising at the pace of knots.

The radio company - run by Ashley Tabor, son of betting magnate Michael Tabor - has recently spent the best part of £700 million on Primesight, Outdoor Plus and Exterion, which has the contracts with Transport for London to advertise on the London underground.

That deal pits Global - which owns Capital, LBC and Heart FM - against outdoor advertising market leader JC Decaux...

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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].