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.

Water deals

Wednesday, 15 March 2017, 10:00 am

It's good to see the chaps at Omers and Wren House finally pull off a water deal yesterday.

In case you don't recall, I broke the story back in 2013 about how Canada's Borealis, a division of Omers, and the Kuwaiti Investment Authority (which is now operating the Wren House guise) teamed up to mount a joint £5 billion plus bid for FTSE 100-listed Severn Trent. Here is the link to that piece:..

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Betaville Intelligence

Engie said to be working with Rothschild on potential Suez acquisition - sources

Tuesday, 14 March 2017, 7:53 pm

French gas utility Engie has been working with bankers at Rothschild on a potential acquisiton of Suez.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Engie is talking to certain banks about a potential $19.8 billion purchase of German renewable energy company Innogy. French reports have subsequently played down the Bloomberg report, with BFM claiming Engie has no interest in being a minority shareholder. German utility company RWE owns a 76.8pc stake in Engie...

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0 comments | Tags: Suez, Engie, Innogy, Rothschild

Revealed: why China Africa Resources changed its name to Pembridge Resources

Tuesday, 14 March 2017, 6:36 pm

To the AIM bulletin boards where investors appear to have got rather excited about China Africa Resources's proposal to change its name to Pembridge Resources.

The move to change the company's name comes after David Linsley - one of the founders of Cross Asset Management (older readers might recall the investment firm was one of first London-based event driven hedge funds set up in the City) - was appointed as chief executive in February...

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Award winning Theatre producer weighs "strategic options" for his £50 million airport lounges company - sources

Monday, 13 March 2017, 5:38 pm

An airport lounge company founded by an award-winning theatre producer is poised to sell a stake in the business as part of a deal that could value the group at around £50 million.

City sources said No 1 Lounges, which was founded by Phil Cameron, has hired corporate finance advisers from DC Advisory to look at “strategic options” for the group...

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Betaville Intelligence

Prosiebensat1 said to have hired Goldman Sachs for EURO 500 million sale of digital travel agent - sources

Friday, 10 March 2017, 4:37 pm

German broadcasting giant Prosiebensat1 has appointed investment bankers to work on a potental sale of online travel agent Etraveli.

Sources familiar with the matter said Prosiebesat1 has asked Goldman Sachs run a potential auction, which may include a disposal of all or part of Etraveli.

According to one source, Goldman Sachs has already prepared a short information memorandum on Etraveli for potential buyers containing some financial information...

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0 comments | Tags: Prosiebensat1, Goldman Sachs

Revealed: Hong Kong tycoon unhappy with Premier Oil's $2.8 debt deal; looking to form blocking group with other convertible bond investors - sources - part 3

Thursday, 9 March 2017, 10:37 am

I see Premier Oil is this morning claiming in its final results that its $2.8 billion jumbo refinancing will complete in late May. Here is the link:

http://www.investegate.co.uk/premier-oil-plc--pmo-/rns/final-results/201703090701079381Y/..

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Portuguese billionaire blasts management at Stock Spirits, again...

Wednesday, 8 March 2017, 10:07 am

The long running dust up between the management of vodka distiller Stock Spirits and Luis Amaral, the Portuguese billionaire who owns 10pc of the business, continues unabated.

London-listed Stock Spirits announced preliminary results this morning that didn't seem to worry the market too much (shares up a 1pc or so in morning trade). In case you missed it, here is a link to the company's statement:..

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0 comments | Tags: betaville, Luis Amaral, Stock Spirits
Betaville Intelligence

RARE ALERT: Williams-Sonoma said to be stalking Restoration Hardware

Tuesday, 7 March 2017, 10:15 pm

American kitchenwear company Williams-Sonoma is said to be interesting in combining with US rival Restoration Hardware.

City sources claim that since the beginning of this year Williams-Sonoma and Restoration Hardware have had discussions about a deal that could value the latter at $39.50.

However, the chief executive of Restoration Hardware, Gary Friedman, is thought to have rejected Williams-Sonoma's advances, according to these sources...

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0 comments | Tags: betaville, Williams-Sonoma

Hedge fund managers, the Bahamas and their mansions...

Tuesday, 7 March 2017, 2:54 pm

Why do so many of the world's most powerful hedge fund managers end up in nasty spats in the Bahamas?

For most people the Bahamas is an idyllic Caribbean island that they can only dream of visiting. But for some of the world's wealthiest hedgies that own houses on the Bahamas it would appear to be an island that eventually causes profound angst...

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Sunday review - Aberdeen Asset Management, Standard Life and Meggitt

Sunday, 5 March 2017, 5:26 pm

Unsurprisingly, the news about Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life's £11 billion merger dominated today's business sections in the British newspapers.

Hat tip, though, to the Kleinmanator of Sky News for breaking that story on Saturday afternoon - although Bryce Elder's mega scoop about Kraft Heinz's $150 billion takeover bid for Unilever on FT Alphaville from a few weeks ago will still take some beating...

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Betaville Intelligence

Sportingbet owner GVC said to be gearing up for next major takeover deal; spokesperson denies interest in £5 billion Playtech merger - part 2

Friday, 3 March 2017, 9:49 am

I see one of my favourite ex-Telegraph colleagues, Harry Wilson of The Times, has also noted GVC appears to be preparing for its next major deal by putting debt financing in place.

In case you missed it, here is a link to Harry Wilson's excellent market report column in today's The Times:..

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0 comments | Tags: betaville, Sportingbet, Playtech, GVC, the times

Revealed: Hong Kong tycoon unhappy with Premier Oil's $2.8 billion debt deal; looking to form blocking group with other convertible bond investors - sources - part 2

Wednesday, 1 March 2017, 5:06 pm

Oh look - Pyrrho Investments has confirmed my tale from earlier on in the day and last week. In case you missed it, I have pasted the announcement below:

Pyrrho Investments Limited ("Pyrrho"), an investment fund, notes the Refinancing update announcements made by Premier Oil ("the Company") from February 2017 to date.

Pyrrho is one of the 3 largest convertible bondholders in Premier Oil with approximately 10% of the total convertible bonds in issuance...

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House price reporting: plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose...

Wednesday, 1 March 2017, 8:47 am

When I was a young reporter on The Daily Telegraph in the mid noughties working a late shift I was somewhat bamboozled by the first editions of the Daily Mail and The Daily Express.

Why?

Well, that's because the front page (of the main book) of one those newspapers led with a story about how prices are set to soar while the other claimed on the front page (of the main book, too) that houses prices were set to crash...

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Betaville Intelligence

Sportingbet owner GVC said to be gearing up for its next major takeover deal; spokesperson denies interest in £5 billion Playtech merger

Tuesday, 28 February 2017, 3:45 pm

Sportingbet owner GVC Holdings is said to be gearing up for its next major takeover deal.

According to sources familiar with the matter, investment banks - such as JP Morgan - are said to have put in place a big debt financing package for GVC to use as funds for major M&A tansaction...

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Back on Tip TV talking about the LSE, Legg Mason and Independent Oil and Gas

Monday, 27 February 2017, 1:27 pm

Apologies if I look like I have just stepped out of the shower during this session. It litreally tipped it down as I was running from the the tube station to the studio, so I got soaked. Anyway, here is a link to today's session (in which half way through I refer to last year's "election" but meant "referendum"):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0OuQSAuxO4&feature=youtu.be..

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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].