European tour

The team hits the road, taking in trips to IPEM and SuperReturn to catch up on all the hottest topics in European private equity. Kenny Wastell hosts Oscar Geen, Greg Gille and special guest Michael Collins, CEO of Invest Europe.

Crypto craze

The Unquote team decodes the intricacies of securitised token offerings and explores what role they might play in the future of venture capital. Kenny Wastell hosts Oscar Geen, Denise Ko Genovese, Gareth Morgan and special guest Ryan Hanley, managing director at token investment platform TokenMarket.

Dual speed ahead

The pod navigates the bifurcation in private equity fundraising, with large-cap and brand-name GPs raising faster than smaller and less established players. Oscar Geen hosts Kenny Wastell, Gareth Morgan and special guest Karl Adam, managing director at placement agent Monument Group.

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.

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.

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.

Aston Martin valuation ahead of expected IPO

Famed for its association with James Bond, the luxury British car-maker Aston Martin is eyeing a London listing later this year.

The owners are reportedly hoping for a valuation of between GBP 4bn and GBP 5bn. But investors have questioned that valuation and queried how closely it can be compared to Ferrari, which has seen its share price jump by some 160% since listing in 2016.

Julie-Anna Needham speaks to Katrien Van Hoof and Swetha Gopinath.

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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