Monday, 26 January 2015

Back on Tip TV talking about BHS, Aer Lingus and Quindell

It's a Monday, so I was invited back onto Tip TV to talk about the weekend's deal stories and other bits and pieces.

Here is a link to today's clip:

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday review

Huge hat tip to Oliver Shah over at The Sunday Times for his scoop about Sir Philip Green putting BHS on the market. Here is a link to Oliver's piece:

Friday, 23 January 2015

Aussie lawyers Slater & Gordon in exclusive talks to buy Quindell's legal services division - part 5

Sorry this is a bit late in the day but I just thought I would put up Slater & Gordon's slightly odd confirmation to my story from a couple of days ago about how the Aussie group is in talks to buy Quindell's legal services division.

Here is a link to Slater & Gordon's statement:

Ruddy on Ashley

Graham Ruddick has written a particularly good viewpoint piece in this morning's Telegraph.

Graham - a jolly nice chap, a former colleague and one of the best young hacks I have ever worked with - attempts to unravel what maverick Mike Ashley is up to by shuffling his shareholdings about in Sports Direct.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Aussie lawyers Slater & Gordon in exclusive talks to buy Quindell's legal services division - part 3

Oh look - I see Quindell has just confirmed my story from last night. I have pasted the company's announcement below:

On 2 January 2015, Quindell Plc (AIM: QPP.L) announced it had entered into exclusivity arrangements in respect of the possible disposal of an operating division of the Group. The Company notes the speculation concerning the identity of the third party and can confirm that Slater & Gordon Limited ("S&G") is the party referred to in previous announcements.

Aussie lawyers Slater & Gordon in exclusive talks to buy Quindell's legal services division - part 2

So, here are some of the (eye-popping) numbers being talked about for Slater & Gordon's purchase of Quindell's legal services division.

To start with, when talks first began I am told by sources that Slater & Gordon said it will pay a non-refundable £15 million to enter into exclusive discussions with Quindell.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Aussie lawyers Slater & Gordon in exclusive talks to buy Quindell's legal services division

Here is a juicy jackanory - top sources inform me that listed Australian law firm Slater & Gordon is in exclusive discussions to buy Quindell's legal services division.

I understand Slater & Gordon, one of the first law firms to go public, has been working with advisers from Greenhill on the purchase of QLS.

A remarkable coincidence

I see Reuters is reporting US pharmaceutical company Salix has hired bankers from Centreview Partners to look at strategic options. Here is a link:

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Trains, football clubs and Chinese billionaires

It appears Chinese property giant Dalian Wanda has put its plans to purchase a Premier League football club on hold.

The Financial Times is reporting that Dalian Wanda, controlled by billionaire Wang Jianlin, is set to pay EURO 40m to EURO 45m for a 20pc stake in Spanish champions Atletico Madrid. Here is a link to the Financial Times article:

Monday, 19 January 2015

Back on Tip TV talking about Telefonica, Shire and Afren

Moose (Nick Batsford) invited me back onto Tip TV this morning and let me ramble almost uninterrupted for 10 minutes. Here is a clip of today's monologue on M&A by me:

Friday, 16 January 2015

Volatile Afren - part 2

ZhenHua Oil. That is the name of the "mystery" Chinese company I referred to in yesterday's blog post, according to my reliable sources.

Here is a link to yesterday's post:

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Volatile Afren

Wow - embattled oil explorer Afren has leapt 33pc to close at 28.7p!

The massive move higher comes after the stock plunged 30pc on Monday following news the company had overstated its oil reserves at licences in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Here is a link to a Financial Times piece on Monday's news:

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

RARE alert: PWC said to have completed first draft of Quindell review

If you are following the Quindell saga, I picked up another interesting titbit on the insurance claims group yesterday that I thought I might share with loyal readers.

Some of my top sources claim that auditors at PricewaterhouseCoopers have done the first draft of the "independent review" and so far no major issues have been found.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Catlin snippet

Here is an interesting snippet on XL Group's £2.7 billion takeover of Lloyd's of London insurer Catlin.

Catlin is registered in Bermuda - which means it doesn't have to adhere to the Takeover Panel's "Code" - but if you look at the "implementation agreement" section of last week's deal announcement you will that the Lloyd's of London insurer and XL Group have agreed to "observe and comply" with the provisions of the Panel's rules.

Another day, another Aer Lingus article

Bloomberg is really boosting its coverage of the Aer Lingus takeover situation. The newswire has just pumped out another article:

Chinese interest in Premier League continues...

DJI Holdings, the Aim-listed Chinese lottery operator that I mentioned last week on Tip TV, has just announced it has signed a partnership contract with Manchester City Football Club. Here is a link:

I suspect this will be just the first of many interesting developments at DJI Holdings this year.

Monday, 12 January 2015


Bloomberg is today reporting that IAG is planning to raise its EURO 1.3 billion offer for Aer Lingus to EURO 2.50 a share. Here is a link to the story:

That's rather curious as I am sure I wrote late last week that IAG advisers have indicated the owner of British Airways is willing to offer between EURO 2.70 and EURO 2.85 to the Aer Lingus board.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

A sort of weekend newspaper review

The biggest deal of the weekend never made it into any of the Sunday papers - Shire's $5.2 billion acquisition of US biopharmaceutical company NPS.

I dropped a big hint when I was working at The Sunday Times late last year that Shire was going to hit the acquisition trail and look at NPS again after AbbVie botched its merger deal. Here is a link to that piece:

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Stitch up

Hat tip to Harriet Agnew for producing a highly amusing "City insider" column in yesterday's Financial Times.

Harriet's titbit on the decision by private equity firm Pamplona Capital Management - whose advisers made my life extremely difficult when I was working on a story at The Daily Telegraph - to sell out of Lord Fink's Isam hedge fund packed a particularly witty punch.

Friday, 9 January 2015

RARE alert kicks off 2015 in style!

I see British Airways owner IAG has finally confirmed my first ever RARE alert, which was published on January 2, 2015.

The owner of British Airways has just said it raised its takeover offer for Irish airline Aer Lingus to EURO 2.40 a share on December 29, 2014. Here is a link: