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.

A Cypress Semiconductor update: company said to be working with Goldman Sachs on strategic options; three private equity firms circling - sources

Wednesday, 13 July 2016, 10:40 pm

I have a little update on the Cypress Semiconductors tale aired by the chaps over at FT Alphaville at the end of last week.

In case you don't recall, Bryce Elder of the Financial Times wrote on markets live last Friday about how a Chinese private equity firm, Summitview Capital, was trying to buy a US-listed company called Cypress Semiconductor. Here is a link to his piece:..

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Chinese said to be in talks with Wirecard about purchasing a 25pc stake; could make a move on the whole company - part 3

Monday, 11 July 2016, 6:32 pm

I have a little update on the Wirecard story I wrote about a few weeks ago.

Regular readers will be well aware that about a month ago I broke a story about how Wirecard is/was in talks with a mystery Chinese investor, thought to be China Mobile, about purchasing a 25pc stake in Wirecard or, possibly, the entire company...

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Is the tide turning for Odey the Brexiteer? - part 4

Friday, 8 July 2016, 12:00 am

Strolling down Mount Street (which is in the heart of Mayfair, one of the most salubrious parts of London) at 16:45 yesterday I spotted the charasmatic Crispin Odey chatting to a grey-haired friend (or business contact?).

Dressed in a blue (linen?) suit the fund manager from the upper eschelons of British society appeared to be on top form, laughing and smiling during his roadside chat with the grey haired bloke...

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Mead Johnson said to be working with Lazard following takeover interest from European food giants - part 2

Friday, 8 July 2016, 12:00 am

Unsurprisingly, I have had a few people on the blower whinging about my Mead Johnson story from March following yesterday's news about Danone agreeing a deal to buy WhiteWave for $12.5 billion.

In case you don't recall, I revealed in mid-March that Mead Johnson had begun working with the sharp suited types from Lazard following interest from Nestle and Danone...

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Post Brexit M&A from, er, Danone and Shanks

Thursday, 7 July 2016, 12:00 am

Hat tip to hacks Arash Massoudi and James Fontanella-Kahn over the Financial Times for landing the scoop overnight about Danone's $12.5 billion acquisition of health food specialist WhiteWave Foods. The deal was subsequently announced this morning.

I suspect Danone's purchase of Whitewave means any potential acquistion of baby food maker Mead Johnson by Danone is likely to be off the table for quite some time...

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Roche said to have rekindled interest in BioMarin Pharmaceutical - sources

Wednesday, 6 July 2016, 12:00 am

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Roche has once again been studying a multi-billon dollar purchase of American rare disease specialist BioMarin Pharmaceutical, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

I understand that, so far, the majority of work and analysis on BioMarin has been carried out by Roche's own executives, led by Boris Zaitra, head of M&A...

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Post Brexit M&A from, er, Melrose

Wednesday, 6 July 2016, 12:00 am

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that deals that were being looked at before the Brexit referendum have either been parked or completely shelved.

Indeed, for the last couple of weeks I have been chasing a tale about a takeover of a rather large London-listed industrial company but was told yesterday the transaction has been put on hold because of the result of the Brexit referendum...

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Bodycote in the market for new corporate brokers

Wednesday, 6 July 2016, 12:00 am

This isn't exactly earth shattering news but I did pick up over a sumptuous lunch yesterday that FTSE 250-listed Bodycote is looking to appoint new advisers.

Word is the 'thermal processing specialist' is carrying out a beauty parade for new corporate brokers, one of the few remnants of "gentlemany capitalism" from a bygone era of the City of London...

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Is the tide turning for Odey the Brexiteer - part 3

Tuesday, 5 July 2016, 12:00 am

So, it would appear Crispin Odey hasn't done as well as one might have expected from Brexit.

Mayfair types tell me Odey's flagship European fund is only up 6.8pc for the month of June.

I guess the 10pc market move higher since the post Brexit sell off hasn't helped Odey's short positioning based on his extremely bearish outlook.

That means year to date Crispin's fund is still down 26.5pc, according to one chap familiar with figures...

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Murdoch in first major UK M&A deal post Brexit with £220 million talkSport buy; Sky next?

Thursday, 30 June 2016, 12:00 am

Perhaps those (I have to include myself here) predicting a slowdown in UK M&A post Brexit spoke too soon.

News Corp - the publishing company controlled by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch - has just announced it is purchasing Talksport-owner Wireless Group for £220 million. Here is a link to the regulatory news service announcement:..

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Daniel Stewart wields the axe

Wednesday, 29 June 2016, 12:00 am

There is more gloomy news from London's small cap stockbroking industry.

I hear Daniel Stewart, which has seen its shares suspended, has this week begun a major cull, possibly about a third of its work force.

Whether this latest purge is connected to Brexit or just an extension of the general malaise in the industry remains to be seen.

I asked Peter Shea, chief executive of Daniel Stewart, about the job losses but he declined to comment...

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Is the tide turning for Odey the Brexiteer? - part 2

Saturday, 25 June 2016, 12:00 am

It looks like my story from yesterday was bang on the money.

Indeed, just a few hours after I published yesterday morning charming Crispin got on the front foot to go on the record about his recent strong performance in June and also from the result of the referendum.

In case you missed it, here are links to yesterday's follow up pieces:..

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Is the tide turning for Odey the Brexiteer?

Thursday, 23 June 2016, 12:00 am

Crispin Odey's flagship European fund has had a tough time in the last year or so after the charismatic fund manager made some pretty bold and contrarian bear calls that haven't quite worked out.

However, yesterday rival hedgies told me the Odey European fund was actually up around 10pc in June 2016 (the final monthly performance won't be published for another couple of weeks)...

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