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.

Deals, deals, deals...in a bear market

Wednesday, 11 March 2020, 9:01 pm

It's hard for market practitioners to get enthusiastic about bid stories in this (almost official) bear market.

But let's not forget there have been three major deals announced this week - and it's only Wednesday!

On Monday, for example, insurance broker Aon agreed a $30 billion all share deal with Willis Towers Watson and Tesco announced the £8.2 billion sale of its Thai and Malaysian business to CP Group...

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Betaville Intelligence

RARE ALERT: Reach4entertainment Enterprises said to ...

Tuesday, 10 March 2020, 4:25 pm

Marc Boyan, the chief executive of Aim-listed Reach4entertainment Enterprises, is said to have informally sounded out M&C Saatchi, the London-listed advertising agency, about a takeover of the business.

People following the situation said Lord Michael Grade, the former chief executive of ITV who sits on the board of Reach4entertainment as chairman, recently approached M&C Saatchi on Mr Boyan's behalf with the approach...

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Is the tide turning for Odey the Brexiteer? - part 36

Monday, 9 March 2020, 8:55 am

Perhaps charming Crispin will be proved right after all?

Two weeks ago I interviewed the the veteran hedge fund manager and asked him whether he thought the FTSE 100 index could end up at 5000 by the end of the year.

Odey - whose predictions of a stockmarket crash over the last four years have so far been proved to be spectacularly wrong - said that the FTSE 100 at 5000 was "highly probable". Below is a link to the interview in the Mail on Sunday:..

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Rayner Surgical Group said to be on the block for around £300 million - sources

Friday, 6 March 2020, 10:20 am

There are a few pieces out this week from Bloomberg about how recent market turbulence is starting to hit dealmaking.

But it's still pretty lively in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Take, for example, this week's announcement from US giant Thermo Fisher about its $11.5 billion acquisition of Qiagen, the Dutch diagnostics testing group...

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REVEALED: KKR said to be vying with Carlyle to buy Dr Martens for over £300 million - sources

Thursday, 5 March 2020, 9:32 pm

KKR, the US-listed private equity giant, has emerged as a surprise frontrunner to buy Dr Martens for over £300 million.

Sources familiar with the matter said KKR - the former owner of pharmacy giant Boots that was immortalised in the bestselling book Barbarians At The Gate - is vying with Carlyle, another Wall Street buy-out firm, to buy Dr Martens from Permira, a European investment firm...

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Vega finally hangs up his hedgie boots...

Tuesday, 3 March 2020, 9:16 am

A career in hedge funds looks to be over for former Tottenham Hotspur centre back Ramon Vega.

According to intrepid hack and Financial News City diarist, Tom Teodorczuk, Mayfair-based Vega Swiss Asset Management has finally gone into liquidation. Below is a link to Tom's piece about the former Switzerland international football player:..

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Betaville Intelligence

UNCOOKED ALERT: NMC Health said to ... - Part 6

Saturday, 29 February 2020, 9:33 am

It's been a torrid week for global stock markets but have a guess at which company was the best performing stock in the FTSE 100?

Yes, it was the gulf-based hospital operator Muddy Waters loves to hate: NMC Health.

According to Bloomberg data, NMC Health's shares were up 9.73pc on the week, making it the best performing stock in the blue chip index. HSBC was the second best performer, losing 4pc on the week...

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Betaville Intelligence

UNCOOKED ALERT: Gain Capital said to ... - Part 4

Thursday, 27 February 2020, 2:03 pm

I know this is starting to sound a bit hackneyed but: another day, another confirmation for little old Betaville.

You might recall that this website published a series of Betaville Intelligence articles about Gain Capital, owner of Michael Spencer's spread betting firm City Index, and then revealed INTL FCStone was the mystery suitor circling the business. Below are the links, including a follow up in Mail on Sunday's business section...

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The cat is out of the bag at Circassia Pharmaceuticals...

Wednesday, 26 February 2020, 9:20 pm

Remember Circassia Pharmaceuticals? It was the Woodford-backed Aim darling that hit the headlines with its potential a treatment for people with cat allergies.

But that plan, along with Woodford's investment, went down the drain when the company discovered "its investigational house dust mite allergy immunotherapy failed to show a significant effect compared with placebo"...

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Betaville Intelligence

UNCOOKED ALERT: NMC Health said to ... - Part 4

Monday, 24 February 2020, 9:19 am

Avid followers of my work might have noticed over the weekend in the Mail on Sunday's business section that a colleague and I spotted that Richard Chandler, the Kiwi "billionaire" was behind Jasmine Capital Investments, which has been building a significant stake in beleguered NMC Health over the last few weeks. See the link below:..

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Sometimes an earnings call can be interesting...

Friday, 21 February 2020, 9:39 am

Looking through today's business sections Betaville was surprised by how little coverage was given to Smith & Nephew, a FTSE 100-listed company that yesterday announced much better-than-expected figures.

The excellent The Times business section, run by my old boss Richard "Fletch" Fletcher, gave the Smith & Nephew earnings story a small slot while the Daily Mail led the market report with the orthopedics company...

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The property company takeover, the Pink 'Un and the author of "How to Make a Million - Slowly"

Friday, 21 February 2020, 8:06 am

Hat tip to John Lee, who writes an investing column for the venerable Financial Times.

Last summer Mr Lee, who wrote How to Make a Million - Slowly, suggested the politically incorrect Daejan Holdings should be taken private for around £80.00 a share in a piece in the Pink 'Un. Below is a link to the piece:

https://www.ft.com/content/b888c308-814a-11e9-a7f0-77d3101896ec..

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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].