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.

Bridgepoint said to have hired Baird to work on Hobbyrcraft - sources

Saturday, 19 November 2016, 7:59 am

This isn't earth shattering news but probably interesting for deal watchers in Britain's retail sector.

This week I learned that UK-based private equity firm Bridgepoint has hired investment bankers from Baird to work on a secret project for Hobbycraft, one of Britain's largest arts and craft retailers. Banking sources claimed to me that Baird had been appointed to carry out a strategic review (banker parlance for sale) of Hobbycraft...


RARE ALERT: HM Treasury said to be weighing major changes to property tax; may even abolish stamp duty - part 3

Tuesday, 15 November 2016, 5:26 pm

I see my former employer, The Daily Telegraph, has picked up on a theme little old Betaville has been writing about for the last month or so. Today, the venerable newspaper splashed the main book on a campaigning piece - dubbed 'Stamp duty' - advocating major changes to the tax (for readers outside of the UK you have to pay stamp duty when you purchase a property). Here is a link to the The Daily Telegraph's splash story:..


The former Marks & Spencer boss, Sir Philip Green's PR man and, er, The Donald

Monday, 14 November 2016, 1:25 pm

Little old Betaville has been running now for a couple of years and has developed a bit of a following in the City. And some readers are now even offering to write pieces for little old Betaville.

So, as a bit of an experiment, below is a contribution from a certain “Mr Shears”. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

A contribution from Mr Shears:

There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip, as my old boss used to say...


Shire said to be participating in Merrimack Pharmaceuticals "strategic review" - sources

Friday, 11 November 2016, 12:33 am

Reuters landed a good story earlier this week about a US biopharmaceutical company called Merrimack Pharmaceuticals carrying out a "strategic review" (banker parlance for a sale or sale of assets). Here is a link to the Reuters piece:



Upmarket caterer Rhubarb close to £100 million sale; Bregal Freshstream and Graphite Capital said to be some of the buy-out firms participating in second round

Thursday, 10 November 2016, 5:46 pm

I realise Trump is the only major news story in town at the moment but here's a little tale for the mid-market dealmaking village back in Blighty.

Word is private equity firm ECI is closing in on a £100 million sale of upmarket caterer Rhubarb, which has contracts with the Royal Albert Hall and Goodwood Estate...


Revealed: secret name of consortium preparing £12 billion bid for National Grid distribution business - sources

Sunday, 30 October 2016, 1:22 pm

The £12 billion auction for National Grid's distribution business is hotting up and top M&A reporters are breaking stories left, right and centre.

Last week, for example, the Kleinmanator of Sky News published a good scoopette about how Hermes had joined a consortium of investors led by CIC, the Chinese state's sovereign wealth fund. Here is a link to Mark's piece:..


[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].