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Dealcast: Vodafone, Elliott and Liberty Global

Vodafone has had quite the year, announcing a deal with Liberty Global for its Eastern European assets, while reportedly also having caught the eye of activist fund Elliott.

Will they push for share buybacks or perhaps a (partial) disposal of its towers assets? Samantha Tomaszczyk discusses what could be next for the telecoms giant.

Dealcast: Activism in Europe

No one is safe from activist investors, or so Elliott Advisors would have European companies believe. The US-based fund was recently revealed to have built a stake in Vodafone Group. What they might want is still a mystery, but it is likely the global telecoms group's many minority interests and broad geographical portfolio could be targeted.

Much of the action this year has revolved around de-conglomerisation, with activists Cevian and Elliott at Thyssenkrupp and Sherborne Investors at Barclays pushing for streamlined structures. Could GSK be next?

So far, the often more aggressive US funds have opted for a gentler approach in Europe, but as companies are getting more proactive and as defence strategies are getting more sophisticated, the gloves could increasingly come off.

UniCredit's Mustier at least is confident his military background will serve him well in fending off Caius Capital's attempt to force the conversion of EUR 3bn of financial instruments into common stock.

Kat Van Hoof gets the lowdown on activist antics and campaigns from Activistmonitor Assistant Editor William Mace.

Dealcast: Craft Beer

The unstoppable rise in the popularity of craft beer has seen major brewers muscle in on the action, with Heineken's recent investment in Beavertown, and a subsidiary of Kirin acquiring Fourpure.

But getting in to bed with "big beer" poses a dilemma for many small brewers who value their independence, with some opting for private equity investment instead.

Over a few beers, Julie-Anna Needham discusses the matter with managing editor John West and consumer reporter Deane McRobie.

Dealcast: European M&A With Greenhill

In this week’s Dealcast¸ the exceptional M&A cycle is discussed with Greenhill’s UK head, Pieter-Jan Bouten.

Mega deals are set to continue with both boards and investors displaying an extraordinary level of confidence in pursuing transactions and accelerating growth, according to Bouten.

Strong activity in the TMT sector is set to continue, driven by technology and the importance of companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Netflix. With Julie-Anna Needham

Dealcast Smiths Group Fortum Uniper

Long-rumoured break-up candidate Smiths Group recently confirmed talks about combining its medical division with ICU Medical. Could it be the trigger that leads to a break-up of the remaining divisions?

Meanwhile, at Uniper’s AGM, a key vote has been delayed on the probe into the role of management and whether they tried to block a stake sale to Fortum. We discuss what it means for the deal.

With Julie-Anna Needham and William Cain.

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