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.

Those Ocado bid rumours...

Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 6:42 pm

I see almost all of the business sections of the quality British newspapers ran with the Amazon-for-Ocado bid rumour today, with some publications even dedicating a whole page lead to the takeover speculation.

No surprises, there, I suppose. Amazon's sensational $13.7 billion move on Whole Foods in the US late last week has got tongues wagging in the Square Mile about how the American online retail giant plans to take on the British grocery market...

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Betaville Intelligence

Prosiebensat1 said to weigh EURO 500 million sale of digital travel agent - sources - part 3

Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 10:38 am

Little old Betaville is in a particularly good mood this morning as another Intelligence scoopette has been confirmed.

This morning German broadcast giant Prosiebensat1 announced it has sold online travel Etraveli to CVC Capital Partners, one of Europe's largest private equity firms, for just over EURO 500 million. Here is a link to the Financial Times piece on the news:..

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Those IWG bid rumours...

Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 10:00 am

Mark Dixon, the Monaco-based billionaire, last night sold over 27 million IWG (formerly Regus) shares at 345p a share, making himself almost £100 million.

I guess that puts paid to the idea that Dixon, the founder of IWG and largest shareholder, is currently in talks with various bidders, which is what was reported last week by little old Betaville's rivals...

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Village gossip - top bankers McIntyre, Kerr and Barrow head to Zeus Capital

Friday, 16 June 2017, 11:53 am

John McIntyre is once again set to return to the dealmaking coalface.

The City veteran and wily rainmaker spent the last thirty years on the UK dealmaking scene as head of UK M&A at Lehman Brothers, Dresdner Kleinwort (when it actually did large deals) and Royal Bank of Scotland before it gave up on takeover advisory work.

Some of his deals include advising Railtrack on its defence against its controversial takeover of Network Rail...

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Betaville Intelligence

RARE ALERT: Oclaro said to ... - part 2

Thursday, 15 June 2017, 6:49 am

I see the US financial news aggregator services, such as Benzinga, are trying to re-publish little old Betaville's paywall protected Intelligence articles by second guessing what the content is saying from part of the headline that is available to the public.

Well, that's a dangerous game to play and does a great disservice to their readers...

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Polls - part 2

Friday, 9 June 2017, 7:46 am

So, this morning's election result shows the polls got it spot on after all! Hat tip to the The Times for running the front page piece last week about You Gov poll data showing the election tightening.

From now on, though, I think little old Betaville is going to stick to reporting around what he knows best - stock markets, M&A and private equity...

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Tags: the times

People moves that aren't press released - return of the Sach - part 2

Wednesday, 7 June 2017, 3:48 pm

It was only a month ago that little old Betaville had the pleasure of welcoming the UK’s most famous debt collector back into corporate life.

You might remember I wrote about how Derek Sach, the controversial former head of Royal Bank of Scotland’s discredited and disbanded “business support” unit - the GRG - had resurfaced as an advisor to the Europe's largest private equity group CVC Capital Partners, former owner of Formula One. ..

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BP in advanced talks to fund Nigerian oil producer - sources

Friday, 2 June 2017, 5:39 pm

Here is an interesting snippet about a rather large oil company backing an AIM-listed tiddler.

City sources have told little old Betaville that BP is in advanced negotiations to provide Sirius Petroleum with a debt financing package that should enable the business to to fund the drilling prgramme for the Ororo oil field offshore Nigeria and also look at other assets...

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Betaville Intelligence

Carillion said to ...

Thursday, 1 June 2017, 12:40 pm

Construction company Carillion is said to be looking at "options" for the business amid speculation it is a takeover target for a rival, such as London-listed Kier Group.

According to a source that recently spoke with senior executives at FTSE 250-listed Carillion, the company has been looking at a variety of "options" although it's not clear what those options are and whether an investment bank has been formally appointed to carry out a "strategic review"...

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Tags: Carillion

Polls

Wednesday, 31 May 2017, 8:46 am

Little old Betaville was a little surprised to see Sterling fall so shaprly overnight/this morning on the back of YouGov poll for The Times predicting a hung parliament. Here is a link to the piece in The Times that has spooked currency markets:..

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Tags: You Gov

Oak Furniture Land hires PricewaterhouseCoopers to review "strategic options" - sources - part 2

Tuesday, 30 May 2017, 10:37 pm

It sounds like Oak Furniture Land, one of Britain's largest furniture retailers, is edging towards a deal to sell a stake in the £400 million business.

Readers might recall I wrote this piece - https://www.betaville.co.uk/news/oak-furniture-land-hires-pricewaterhousecoopers-to-review-strategic-options-sources/ - back in January 2017...

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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].