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Friday, 31 October 2014

Fancy that - ENRC wins latest tussle with Sir Paul Judge

Ping - an email arrives from my court mole with some fresh information on the ongoing row between Sir Paul Judge and Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation.

Sir Paul appears to have lost this latest skirmish after Mrs Justice Swift refused to strike out some claims made against him by ENRC, which used to be listed on the FTSE 100 index.

According to my mole, Mrs Justice Swift has asked Sir Paul to pay 80pc of legal costs and the full trial is on course to go ahead unless the City grandee tries to settle with ENRC.

Watching...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Hunting for Foxtons - part 2

Hat tip Harriet Dennys, the City diarist over at The Daily Telegraph, for tracking down Jon Hunt's spokesman and getting him/her to provide some sort of comment on the recent speculation the founder of Foxtons may be interested in buying the estate agency back of the public markets.

As Harriet points out today, a spokesman for the former Army officer refused to deny the takeover talk. Here is a link to Harriet's column:

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Fancy that - Top Right Group announces acquisition of Money 20/20

Good to see Top Right Group - the digital publishing and events company backed by Apax and the Guardian Media Group - announce the acquisition of conference organiser Money 20/20 this morning. Here is a link to the press release: http://www.topright-group.com/news/i2i-events-group-continues-its-international-expansion-acquisition-and-multi-year-long-term-par 

Loyal Betavillers will recall I published a piece - http://betaville123.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/top-right-group-said-to-be-close-to.html - last week hinting Top Right Group was close to a major acquisition.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Hunting for Foxtons

If you are interested in the fate of Foxtons, the London estate agent everybody loves to hate, then Martin Waller's commentary column in The Times today is definitely worth a read.

In today's business comment, the veteran writer notes speculation that Jon Hunt - the founder of the estate agency who sold the business at the top of the London property market in 2007 to private equity investor BC Partners - may be interested in buying the company back.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Rigby returns to the fray

Congratulations to Roger Bootle and Peter Rigby.

On Friday, Bootle, the top City economist, finally got round to completing a deal to sell a 35pc stake in the economics consultancy to Lloyds Development Capital. As part of that deal, Peter Rigby, the former chief executive of Informa, makes his return to business-to-business publishing industry by becoming a director of Capital Economics.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Fancy that - ENRC chalks up a win against lawyers in court

There is plenty of coverage this morning about the court case involving Dechert and Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation, the mining company that used to be listed on the FTSE 100 index.

Here is a link to Financial Times piece on the topic: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a38a8140-5b6f-11e4-b68a-00144feab7de.html#axzz3GyEzZleG

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Top Right Group said to be close to multi-million pound exhibitions deal

Media types might interested to hear that Top Right Group, the company formerly known as Emap, is closing in on a decent-sized events and exhibition deal.

I understand Top Right - which is owned by private equity firm Apax and the Guardian Media Group - is about a month or so away from buying an exhibitions business that would take the group's i2i division into new sectors and new countries.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The missing skyscraper story rumbles on...

Ping - an email arrives from a new reader.

It contains a picture of chap called Mr Seamas Daly, an Irish businessman who founded a printing company called Photo Images Ltd. He is picketing outside a law firm based in Dublin, Ireland.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Ferrovial consortium said to be closing in on £1 billion airports deal - part 2

Regular readers shouldn't be surprised to learn that the owners of Heathrow have just sold Aberdeen, Southampton and Glasgow airports to a consortium comprising Spain's Ferrovial and Macquarie for £1 billion.

That's because little old Betaville reported on Tuesday the deal was likely to be formally announced by the end of this week.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Paulson on Abbvie decision to ditch Shire deal

John Paulson's fund is clearly not happy about Abbvie's decision to examine backing out of the Shire deal. Here is what Paulson, who is a big shareholder in both Abbvie and Shire, has just told Bloomberg:

"We believe this transaction  creates enormous value for Abbvie shareholders. The combination is both strategic and accretive regardless of the tax considerations. As a large Abbvie shareholder we hope the  Abbvie Board reaffirms its commitment to the transaction after its review’’: 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Ferrovial consortium said to be closing in on £1 billion airports deal

Here is an interesting snippet on the sale of three airports by Heathrow Airport Holdings.

I have been told that the consortium comprising Spain's Ferrovial, Australia's Macquarie and Singapore fund GIC are close to finalising the £1 billion acquisition of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Back on Tip TV talking about GlenTinto, CSR and Microchip

Great to be invited back on Tip TV with hosts Moose and Zac.

Always a pleasure to chew the M&A market cud with these market veterans. Here is a link to today's show in case you missed it this morning: http://www.tiptv.co.uk/archives/catch-up-on-ma-synergy-healthcare-ma-movement-today-with-ben-harrington-betaville-blogspot-13-10-2014/

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Pasta and mining

I must visit Santini more often.

Back in the days when I worked for The Daily Telegraph, it used to be one of my regular lunching spots as it is (literally) a stones throw away from the Telegraph offices in Victoria/Belgravia. It was also great place for people watching, as you would often see some of the City grandees, bankers and hedge managers dining at the restaurant.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Sir Paul Judge: "curious conversations"

Interesting piece in the Financial Times today on the ongoing dust up between Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation and Sir Paul Judge, the company's former non-executive director and City grandee. 

For readers that don't recall, ENRC is suing Sir Paul for allegedly leaking stories to the media when he was a £125,000 a year non-executive director. 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Village gossip - has Bootle called off £100m sale of Capital Economics?

What has happened to strategic review of Capital Economics, the economics consultancy founded by well-known economist and Daily Telegraph commentator Roger Bootle?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

When "old" news becomes new news...

Hat tip to the Bloomberg M&A reporting team for smoking out Glencore's approach to Rio Tinto about a $160 billion merger.

For anybody who hasn't been following closely, Bloomberg revealed yesterday that a few weeks ago mining giant Glencore approached Chinalco, one of Rio Tinto's largest shareholders, to gauge the state-backed company's interest in whether it would like to see to two mining groups combine.

Whimper...or not - part 2

I see Hewlett-Packard yesterday indicated that it is considering further dealmaking after confirming its demerger plans.

According to the venerable Financial Times, Cathie Lesjak , chief financial officer, said HP has material non-public information that is "not expected to be resolved before the end of Q4". Analysts interpreted this "information" as a potential acquisition, according to the Financial Times. Here is a link the Financial Times article: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fddedbcc-4d6f-11e4-9683-00144feab7de.html#slide0

Monday, 6 October 2014

Pub gossip - part 5

Scribblers round at Goldman Sachs last Friday published a particularly bearish note on Marston's, the FTSE 250 pub company, and reiterated the shares are a "conviction sell". Ouch.

Basically, the Goldman analyst argues Martson's is slightly stuck between a rock and hard place because it needs to throw money at its pubs to reposition its estate into larger food-led outlets but can't do this as it also needs to "de-lever" its balance sheet.

Pizzas and burgers

Old Russell Chambers got a mention in Dominic Walsh's diary column in The Times last Friday.

For readers that don't know, Russell is a Credit Suisse banker who became well-known for lending the former PM, Tony Blair, a pair of swim shorts during a holiday on the financier's boat in Barbados. Chambers was subsequently dubbed "Tony Blair's favourite banker".

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Lord Mayor setback for Sir Paul

Interesting to see that former Kleinwort Benson banker Alan Yarrow was earlier this week elected to be the new Lord Mayor of London.

Last time I checked, Sir Paul Judge was one of the leading candidates to become Lord Mayor. Here is a link to a Daily Mail article on the topic: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2514669/City-London-mayor-hopeful-Sir-Paul-Judge-accuses-ENRC-trying-entrap-him.html