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.

Burmese Business - part 3

Wednesday, 23 September 2015, 2:28 am

Shares in MySQUAR, the Burmese social media platform, have taken a bit of battering since the company floated on London's Alternative Investment Market in late Spring this year - like most stocks exposed to emerging markets...


Back on Tip TV talking about Debenhams, SAB Miller, Imagination Technologies, Standard Chartered and Lanxess - part 2

Wednesday, 23 September 2015, 12:26 am

I see German chemicals company Lanxess has announced a deal to sell a stake in its German rubber division to Saudi Arabia's Aramco in a deal that values the unit at $3.1 billion.

Lucky I mentioned something was afoot with Lanxess during yesterday's session on Tip TV (although admittedly I didn't quite nail the story in all its gory detail).....


Top of the market? - part 2

Sunday, 20 September 2015, 6:51 am

I was hoping to revisit the "top of the market" theme once things calmed down this weekend but it would appear Lina Saigol, the Companies Editor at the Financial Times, has beaten me to the punch (this often happened to me when I was a cub M&A reporter at the The Daily Telegraph in the mid-noughties)...


Coincidence? - part 5

Saturday, 19 September 2015, 7:18 am

Apologies dear readers for banging on about this ad nauseam but I see Bloomberg revealed this evening that Anheuser-Busch Inbev "reached out" to Altria, SAB Miller's largest shareholder, before the Brazlian brewer's approach to the FTSE 100 company was announced on Wednesday...


AA Osborne on top form, again...

Friday, 18 September 2015, 10:37 am

Acerbic Alistair Osborne really made me laugh this morning after I woke up in a bit of a grump (Twitter followers might understand why).

Alistair's lead item his column in the The Times on the Fed non-event was spot on and had me in stitches as I drank my morning cappuccino. Here is a link to his brilliant and amusing prose:



Coincidence? - part 3

Thursday, 17 September 2015, 5:42 pm

Navel-gazing in financial journalism is reaching a new high.

Indeed, yesterday evening Bloomberg carried out its own investigation into why SAB Miller was forced to stick out a takeover announcement regarding a $250 billion tie-up with Anheuser-Busch InBev. Here is a link:..


Coincidence? - part 2 - CORRECTED

Thursday, 17 September 2015, 12:20 am

Quelle surprise - Anheuser-Busch Inbev, the world's largest brewer, has finally coughed up to what I have been banging on about for the whole of 2015. That ABI wants to buy SAB Miller, the maker of Peroni and Grolsch, for almost £75 billion (that's a rough figure by the way)...



Wednesday, 16 September 2015, 12:05 am

SAB Miller shares are sharply up this afternoon - almost 4pc at pixel time.

Some readers might be wondering why.

Well, from what I can tell tongues are wagging in the Square Mile amid rumours Altria - the US tobacco company that owns 26pc stake in SAB Miller, according to Bloomberg data - has just pulled out of a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference. ..


ECI pulls sale of Reed & Mackay; focus on growing US business

Monday, 14 September 2015, 7:41 pm

It would appear the sale of Reed & Mackay, the corporate travel agent favoured by some of the City's most prestigious firms, has been called off.

I'm hearing from good sources ECI Partners, the private equity firm that owns Reed & Mackay, has pulled the auction after appointing bankers from NM Rothschild to run a sale process to raise £100 million.

Here are links to some of previous Betaville posts on the topic:..


PSP Investments and CPP said to be interested in London City Airport

Thursday, 10 September 2015, 5:48 pm

London City Airport has already generated a fair degree of interest since it first emerged its owner Global Infrastructure Partners had put it up for sale for £2 billion a couple of months ago.

Indeed, it would appear three consortia have already emerged as likely bidders for the airport at the end of the Docklands Light Railway. Those consortia are:

1. A consortium comprising Canadian pension fund Borealis and Allianz, the German insurer...


Top of the market? - part 1

Thursday, 10 September 2015, 3:49 am

Enough is enough - it's time to start a "top of the market" series.

Why? Because there was another clear sign today (in my humble opinion) that UK is in the midst of a raging bull market, which normally means the economy is peaking (give or take eighteen months).

This afternoon US private equity giant KKR bought a 25pc stake in Marshall Wace, the hedge fund founded by Paul Marshall and Ian Wace. ..


Nikkei/FT land Amlin takeover scoop

Tuesday, 8 September 2015, 3:48 am

It looks like the Nikkei's purchase of the Financial Times is working out well for both news outfits when it comes to landing M&A scoops.

The Japanese paper has just broken the story that FTSE 250-listed Lloyd's of London insurer Amlin is about to get taken over by Mitsui Sumitomo, and as a result the Pink' un is the the first to report the news over here in Blighty.

In case you missed it, here is the link:..


[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].