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.

Reuben Brothers weigh sale metal warehousing company; Chinese circling, again - sources

Thursday, 5 January 2017, 12:47 pm

The billionaire Reuben Brothers could be about to make another multi-million pound cash windfall from the sale of one of their businesses.

City sources the brothers are considering a sale of Metro International Trade Services, a metal warehousing company, after receiving approaches from potential buyers. I understand one of the purchasers is a mystery Chinese company...

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FT airs Axa and Generali merger rumours...

Tuesday, 3 January 2017, 8:59 pm

Here is something to liven up a cold January evening. Tucked away at the back of an FT analysis on dealmaking in the insurance industry is a rather intriguing line about how "rumours circulated through last year that two of the big European insurers - Axa and Generali - would try to get together".

That's the first time I have heard of that rumour for a while but perhaps Oliver Ralph, the insurance industry hack at the Financial Times, is/was more plugged in than me...

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A New Year's question: will Michael Kors strike a deal in 2017?

Saturday, 31 December 2016, 4:50 pm

Now, there is a very good reason I posited a question in the headline. It's because I DON'T KNOW whether the well-known fashion brand and retailer Michael Kors will actually merge or sell itself.

However, here is what I do know: I have spent the best part of a couple months investigating a variety of takeover rumours about Michael Kors. Below is what I have have up with so far.....

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Top of the market? - the series returns...-part 2

Saturday, 31 December 2016, 1:48 pm

It looks like I was barking up the right tree when I re-introduced my "top of the market?" series late last week.

Today, the The Times splashed its business section with a piece about how City analysts fear a major stockmarket sell off in 2017.

In case your interested, I have pasted a link below to the piece, which was written by my former colleague Katherine Griffiths, one of the hardest working hacks I had the pleasure to work with:..

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M&A round-up: FT says flurry of big deals fires M&A activity to second highest level since 2007 crisis but, er, The Times says M&A deals fall by half amid global trade fears

Friday, 30 December 2016, 10:52 am

It's that time of the year where the data providers go into a a bit of PR frenzy to convince M&A hacks to write stories to use their data for end-of-year round up pieces. It's also that time of the year when M&A hacks unlucky enough to find themselves still in the newsroom are scratching about for a half decent story idea after their boss has yelled at them for copy to fill large, blank spaces on their pages...

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Top of the market? - the series returns...

Thursday, 29 December 2016, 9:51 am

Apologies for the lack of posts Betavillers - I have a had a few (deserved?) days off enjoying the holidays.

Fear not, though, I'm now back in full force. Yes, while many of little old Betaville's competitors continue their merrymaking I'm back at my desk looking to break big stories, provide thoughtful insight and also crack a few jokes...

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Fresh bank rows in the offing? - part 2

Thursday, 22 December 2016, 6:52 pm

Royal Bank of Scotland might have been hit with bunch of fresh legal claims (see my post from earlier in the week) but yesterday the beleugered bank won its long-running legal tussle with Manchester-based developer Property Alliance Group.

In fact, it really was a comprehensive win for taxpayer-owned RBS, with the bank winning all counts in the UK's first judgement in a civil Libor-related claim...

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RARE ALERT: Walt Disney Co said to have rekindled interest in buying Twitter; price agreed - part 4

Wednesday, 21 December 2016, 10:44 pm

I'm sure I will be on the receiving end of a load of unpleasant abuse from various trolls after this little update but I think loyal and sensible readers deserve a follow up piece since my original RARE ALERT about Walt Disney rekindling its interest in buying Twitter. Here is a link to that piece published in October:..

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Chinese still circling...

Monday, 19 December 2016, 5:19 pm

This year has thrown up plenty of surprises. Politics aside, it's the global M&A boom led by Chinese buyers that was quite unexpected. There had always been plenty of banker talk about China-backed bids of western companies but I don't think many commentators would have predicted this year's huge surge in dealmaking by Chinese businesses...

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Chinese circle Fingerprint Cards - part 2

Thursday, 15 December 2016, 7:02 pm

Little old Betaville has been taking a bit of stick on Twitter recently for the story on Fingerprint Cards published a couple of months ago. So, I thought I would pen a note to clarify a few things for readers who seem to be obsessed by this Nordic biometric technology company...

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Murdoch in first major UK M&A deal post Brexit with £220 million talkSport buy; Sky next? - part 2

Saturday, 10 December 2016, 1:26 pm

There were plenty of hacks, commentators and analysts yesterday claiming to have been the first to predict how Rupert Murdoch would return with a second attempt to purchase Sky.

So, while we're at it, I would like to remind readers that I wrote this piece (see below) just after the result of the Brexit referendum and News Corp's £220 million acquisition of TalkSport...

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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].