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.

"Chinese walls"...

Friday, 26 April 2019, 6:24 pm

Mark Kleinman's piece about the private equity firms that looked and then ditched a counterbid for London-listed Inmarsat caught Betaville's eye today.

Loyal readers might be wondering why given the central premise of the story is that, er, nothing is happening.

Well, for a start pieces about old deals that never got off the ground can show future intentions, so for M&A watchers these stories can provide vital clues for the mosaic theory...

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No merger Thursday...

Thursday, 25 April 2019, 10:47 am

Business hacks coined the phrase merger Monday during the M&A boom times of the late noughties when several mutli-billion takeover deals would get announced simultaneously on a Monday morning.

These days, though, there are less deals around and today two mega deals completely unravelled: J Sainsbury's £15 billion merger with Wal-Mart's Asda and Deutsche Bank's combination with Commerzbank...

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The Japanese billionaire, the embattled online payment firm and the Bitcoin punt...

Wednesday, 24 April 2019, 3:24 pm

Two separate stories about SoftBank and its leader, Masayoshi Son, broke this morning but Betaville found the juxtaposition of the pieces rather intriguing.

The first tale was about SoftBank spending almost $1 billion on Wirecard convertible bonds that could also give the Japanese conglomerate a 5.6pc stake in the German digital payments company. Below is a link to piece in the FT on the topic:..

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Is Fosun about to do a Mike Ashley with Thomas Cook?

Tuesday, 23 April 2019, 6:47 pm

The collapse of Debenhams wasn't exactly Mike Ashley's finest hour.

The owner of Newcastle United Football Club lost £150 million on the 29.9pc equity stake he built over several years after being outmanouvered by the credit funds and the company ahead of a financial restructuring.

Now, though, it would appear Fosun - the Chinese conglomerate led by Guo Guangchang, dubbed China's Warren Buffett - is following a similar path to maverick Mike...

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Betaville Intelligence

RARE ALERT: Acadia Healthcare said to ... - Part 6

Thursday, 18 April 2019, 8:58 pm

Acadia Healthcare, the US-listed behavioural health and addiction services company, is said to be in the early stages of weighing a sale of the The Priory Group, the British mental health care firm.

A person familiar with the situation said Acadia Healthcare has now appointed a financial adviser to weigh a sale of the The Priory although this person declined to identify the firm mandated to carry out the strategic review...

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According To (lack of?) Sources...

Thursday, 18 April 2019, 8:39 am

Every now and then Betaville tunes into According to Sources, a podcast put together by the eloquent American hedgie Michael Samuels of Broome Street Capital.

Mr Samuels, as far as Betaville can see (or is it hear?) relishes nit picking over Wall Street deals, dealmaking and, now it would appear, journalism. Below is a link to Mr Samuels latest podcast...

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Betaville Intelligence

UNCOOKED ALERT: Jazz Pharmaceuticals said to...

Wednesday, 17 April 2019, 3:53 pm

TG Therapeutics, US-listed biopharmaceuticals company, has come under the spotlight amid vague takeover speculation.

However, it's not clear which company is interested in purchasing TG Therapeutics.

One person claiming to be familiar with the matter said the buyer for TG Therapeutics is Jazz Pharmaceuticals, an Ireland-based biopharmaceutical company which specializes of identifying, developing and commercializing pharmaceutical products...

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Is Cuisine de France for sale?

Tuesday, 16 April 2019, 9:06 am

No - is the answer to the question posited in the headline, according to a spokesperson for Aryzta, the ailing Swiss-Irish food company that owns Cuisine de France.

"Cuisine de France is not for sale," reiterated Mark Kenny, a spokesperson for Aryzta when Betaville got in touch last week...

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WELL-DONE ALERT: Skin testing firm poised to unveil £3 million takeover of RinoCloud

Thursday, 11 April 2019, 11:31 pm

Integumen, the company involved in developing non-animal skin testing technology Labskin, is poised to carry out a £3 million takeover of RinoCloud, a data management platform.

People claiming to be familiar with the matter said a £3 million purchase of RinoCloud will be unveiled alongside a £2.75 million equity fundraising in the next few days, possibly as early as tomorrow morning...

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Brexit...who cares, say French Canadians - Part 2

Thursday, 11 April 2019, 9:31 am

There is an old saying in (British) journalism: "three makes a trend".

I guess, then, we are half way there when it comes to the French Canadians and British businesses.

Several week's ago Saputo - based in Montreal, Canada - paid £1 billion for London-listed cheesemaker Dairy Crest.

And yesterday it emerged Garda World, whose headquarters are also in Montreal, is weighing a £3 billion takeover of accident-prone security company G4S...

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CCP - Part 2

Wednesday, 10 April 2019, 11:02 am

Betaville's CCP theme appears to be catching on.

According to the market report in the The Times today, JP Morgan downgraded Britain's water companies amid fears that once the Corbynistas get in power the whole of the listed water sector will be re-nationalized. Below is a link to the piece by Emily Gosden, a former colleague from my time at The Daily Telegraph:..

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RARE ALERT: Skin testing firm said to be plotting multi-million pound equity fundraising - sources

Monday, 8 April 2019, 11:43 am

Integumen, the company involved in developing non-animal skin testing technology Labskin, is preparing to tap equity investors for up to £3 million.

People claiming to be familiar with the matter said Integumen is looking to raise fresh capital by issuing new stock to investors at around 1.5p a share.

It's thought the fundraising deal is relatively advanced and could be announced imminently, said people claiming to be familiar with the matter...

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Tags: Integumen

REVEALED: Gaucho Grill in advanced talks to merge with M Restaurants - sources

Thursday, 4 April 2019, 10:55 am

Most people in the City of London have heard of Gaucho Grill. That's because the steak chain is frequented by bankers, brokers and private equity bucaneers looking to celebrate a deal with a slap up meal.

But last year the group was in peril after it fell into administration, with 500 Gaucho Grill employees losing their jobs in the process...

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CCP...

Wednesday, 3 April 2019, 10:16 pm

Readers will be more than aware of plans by the City of London's banks, brokers and investment funds to accommodate for Brexit.

Indeed, some of the City's traders and bankers have already been shifted to Paris and Frankfurt with others on standby to move in the event of a hard or disordely Brexit.

But now there is a new plan whipping around the market dubbed "CCP", which is also known as the "Corbyn Contigency Plan"...

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Friday fun: President Energy airs and denies its own bid rumour...

Friday, 29 March 2019, 3:26 pm

Here is an oddity that Betaville has never encountered before: a company disclosing a bid rumour about itself on its own website that hasn't yet been talked about in the market or been published by the media.

Yes, Aim-listed President Energy has done precisely that on its "Frequently Asked Questions" page, where it posits the question about Peter Levine, chairman and chief executive, taking the company private...

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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].