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.

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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Mocado...

Tuesday, 26 February 2019, 7:24 pm

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:..

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A Wirecard observation - Part 3

Monday, 25 February 2019, 10:17 pm

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...

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Tags: Wirecard

The £12 billion supermarket merger, the advisor and the rival...

Thursday, 21 February 2019, 9:59 pm

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:..

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RARE ALERT: Reach 4 Entertainment said to be working on £4 million fundraising

Wednesday, 20 February 2019, 9:37 am

Reach 4 Entertainment, the London-listed marketing communications company, is said to be tapping the equity markets for capital.

People claiming to be familiar with the matter said Reach 4 Entertainment is looking to raise up to £4 million in fresh funds, possibly via a placing with investors.

It's not clear which broker is leading the equity fundraising but people claiming to be familiar with the matter said the new shares could be issued at around 1.1p...

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A Wirecard observation - Part 2

Monday, 18 February 2019, 7:35 am

It would appear last Friday's post on Wirecard as part of a 6 part series of stories dating back from 2016 has got quite a few readers' knickers in a twist.

Clearly, many followers of the site didn't bother to read past the headline and just presumed Betaville was reporting the Chinese are in talks about taking a 25pc stake in Wirecard.....

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REVEALED: Lloyds-backed VC prepares to sell CitySprint for up to £200 million - sources

Saturday, 16 February 2019, 12:34 am

An investment firm owned by Lloyds Banking Group is preparing to sell CitySprint, one of Britain's biggest same-day delivery companies.

People familiar with the matter said Lloyds Development Capital, the private equity arm of Lloyds, had recently appointed advisers from corporate finance firm Raymond James to look at offloading CitySprint...

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A Wirecard observation...

Friday, 15 February 2019, 6:05 pm

Betaville's Wirecard series returns!

Why?

Well, after reading today's front page of the Companies & Markets section of the venerable Financial Times about Ant Financial's $700 million purchase of WorldFirst Betaville was struck by the fact that the timing of the deal is rather amusing given that the Chinese group was once suggested as a potential investor/acquirer of 25pc of Wirecard...

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The busted auction list - Part 2

Friday, 15 February 2019, 8:53 am

Well, Betaville has added Premier Foods's Ambrosia to the busted auction list.

Below is a link to this morning's RNS that says Ambrosia has been taken off the market because of "the present business climate the process will not result in a satisfactory financial outcome"...

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The busted auction list...

Thursday, 14 February 2019, 11:28 pm

City hacks are trying hard to dig up deal stories. This week, for example, Mark "The Kleinmanator" Kleinman of Sky News "revealed" that the owners of sandwhich chain Eat and department store Liberty had hired advisers to find purchasers for both businesses.

However, according to Betaville's well-placed sources, there are just as many, if not more, deals falling over in the UK during this period of extreme political uncertainty...

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Mike Ashley said to be in the frame to buy...everything - Part 5

Wednesday, 13 February 2019, 10:54 pm

Tucked away in the Evening Standard's business section is a story from Laura Onita about how Mike Ashley's holding company has organised a £907 million revolving credit facility.

It was good a spot in the Mash Holdings's Companies House filings from the up-and-coming hackette and got Betaville pondering on why the maverick entrepreneur had organised such a big credit line...

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Mystery infrastructure fund said to be in advanced talks to buy Barchester Healthcare for over £2 billion - sources

Tuesday, 12 February 2019, 10:54 pm

The Irish punters - Dermot Desmond, John Magnier and JP McManus - behind Barchester Healthcare could be in luck.

Dealmaking has been tough in the last couple of months, with several sales processes falling over (more on that topic in another post) due to volatile markets and the dreaded Brexit...

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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].