Bryce Elder

Latest posts
Latest comments

Bryce is a sporadic Alphaville contributor and has been the FT’s UK equities reporter since 2008. Before that he wrote about UK equities at Morningstar. Before that he wrote about UK equities at The Times. Before that he wrote about UK equities at Bloomberg. Before that he wrote about UK equities at AFX News. Before that he did not write about UK equities.

Contact Bryce Elder

On the Blinkx — Update

At pixel time we still await Blinkx’s official response to allegations of questionable practices made by Benjamin Edelman, an associate professor at Harvard Business School and a self-proclaimed sheriff of the internet advertising industry. Blinkx shares traded down as much as 51.6 per cent on the claims, knocking about £400m off its market value.

What we do have is a note from Citigroup, Blinkx’s joint house broker. In the interests of market stability we repeat it in full below, albeit with minimal fiskingRead more

AstraZeneca said to eye Forest Labs bid

What’s been lighting a fire under Forest Laboratories?

 Read more

Premature dissemination, Bloomberg style

Bloomberg News prides itself on market-moving scoops. Today its reporters excelled themselves, getting Citigroup’s Q3 earnings out a full 29 minutes before they were due.

 Read more

Blackberry, bricked

Blackberry’s logo (below) resembles nothing as much as a hail of seven silver bullets. It appears the gun has been pointing the wrong way.

 Read more

An intriguing Delaware filing

NHI Wind Read more

Vodamort and the Chamber of Secrets

Today marked the rarest of events: a Vodafone statement that directly references its joint venture partner.

The last time we had a mention of Verizon Communications outside the boilerplate on a Vodafone stock market announcement was back in 2007, when Arun Sarin was bounced (by this blog) into denying the existence of Project Vulture. It seems that Verizon, like Lord Voldemort, shall not be named. Read more

Ballmer at Microsoft: an annotated shareprice

Mouse over…

 Read more

Bidders said to circle Zoltek

Friday afternoon RAW klaxon. Buyer beware. Usual wealth warnings apply.

 Read more

Unconventional stimulus, the Bloomberg way

Bloomberg Businessweek cover

 Read more

Vodafone-Verizon: a $245bn solution — UPDATE 2

Hello to the City’s new watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority. It may seem rude to make requests on your first working day but there’s a market rumour on which we would like some clarity. It involves what would be the biggest M&A deal ever, and it’s on your patch. Read more

Lundin Petroleum mum on Sinopec talk

Swedish oil company Lundin Petroleum declined to comment on rumours that it has been in talks to sell a significant equity stake to China Petrochemicals Corporation. Read more

UK PLC goes behind the paywall on Friday – UPDATE

So here’s the bad news.


RNS, the newswire used by most U.K. companies to distribute time-sensitive press releases, will require anyone wishing to receive announcements in real-time must register before Feb. 1, 2013. Anyone who fails to register will receive the press announcements after a 60-minute delay. There is no cost at this time to register.

 Read more

Information asymmetry, LSE edition – UPDATE

So the LSE had a technical b0rk this morning, which clogged the Regulatory News Service out for more than 90 minutes. The silo of corporate news was finally released at 8:37am.

No harm done though, right? Market integrity intact? Possibly not. Read more

Is someone circling Pacific Drilling?

Does US-listed Pacific Drilling look like a credible takeover target? We think it probably does, 0n balance, and we’d very much like to find out more. Read more

Inevitably, eventually, Autonomy

Paging Dr Mike Lynch. Your patient seems to be suffering some nasty post-op complications.

From Hewlett-Packard’s fourth-quarter results:

Fourth quarter and full year fiscal 2012 results include a non-cash goodwill and intangible asset impairment charge of $8.8 billion relating to the Autonomy business within the Software segment.

 Read more

Mizuho’s love triangle found 33% guilty

So they’re innocent. Really.

Yes, really. From Bloomberg:

Two girlfriends of former Mizuho International Plc investment banker Thomas Ammann were found not guilty of illegally trading on tips from him about Canon Inc.’s acquisition of OCE NV.

 Read more

Has FQM’s board approved a £3bn bid? Dunno — UPDATE

It’s 2:45am in Vancouver. Do you know where your investor relations department is?

Here’s this morning’s Daily MailRead more

Veolia, Suez and the dirty business of denials

Big news in RAW sewage this Saturday evening.

PARIS | Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:33pm BST (Reuters) – Veolia Environnement and Suez Environnement said on Saturday they were not working on a merger after Le Monde newspaper reported the two companies had held talks that fell apart over antitrust concerns. Read more

Ship of Theseus seeks flotation

Those who argue for a further relaxation of the LSE’s listing rules may want to note the following announcement:

Rangers, the Scottish football club, today announces its intention to seek Admission to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Read more

Breaking: inevitable happens

The exact time of death can be recorded as 1:01pm BST. But, really, the pulse was lost long ago.

BAE Systems and EADS announced that they have decided to terminate their discussions. So should we blame another breakdown in eurozone relations? Or maybe, just maybe, BEADS wasn’t a merger worth saving. Read more

AstraZeneca and Forest Labs: a match made in sellside heaven

Pascal Soriot doesn’t start as AstraZeneca’s new CEO until Monday, yet everyone seems to know what he should do first: go shopping.

The problems soon to be faced by the former Genentech CEO are well known. AstraZeneca is heading towards the steepest of patent cliffs and has so far failed to find anything in the R&D labs that might cushion its fall. Drugs losing US patent protection by 2015 account for a more than a fifth of its sales, rising to nearly a third of sales by 2019. Recent launches of diabetes and heart disease pills have fallen short and what’s in the late-stage pipeline (arthritis, constipation and gout, since you ask) is considered quite likely to fail. Read more

Pinning the tale on a Monster

It’s been a lively few weeks for Monster Worldwide, the recruitment website.

For a company that’s been for sale since February, that’s quite a move. BofA Merrill Lynch and Stone Key Partners have been courting buyers for the past six months and final-round bids went in this week, according to Dealreporter (subscription required). Read more

Awaiting an African Barrick endgame [update] (update II)

Update (8:20am BST): it seems the usually-reliable sources were mostly reliable in this case, though there remains some uncertainty over whether they can tell one Chinese gold company from another.

Barrick Gold statementRead more

The mechanics of a water pump

Well, that was silly.

United Utilities share price chart Read more

Alexion targeted for Roche poach?

Remember Friday afternoon RAW?  Well, this is most definitely Friday afternoon RAW. Please read the disclaimer carefully.

 Read more

Autonomy: a postscript

Here’s something odd.

Related links:
Lynch mobbed – FT Alphaville
Revisiting Autonomy’s Iron Mountain deal – FT Alphaville

GKP threatens to sue speculators (the bad kind)

“Live by the sword, die by the sword” does not translate into Kurdish, it seems.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. (AIM: GKP) Read more

EU plans to terminate Britain, return to Dark Ages – report

Sensational “news” via the Daily Express, which for the avoidance of doubt is a British national newspaper.

 Read more

Lloyds receives ‘multi-billion’ bid for publicity – report

According to the Evening Standard:

Lloyds Banking Group is understood to have received a multi-billion-pound takeover approach for Scottish Widows, its life assurance, pensions and savings business. Read more

What’s going on with PPR?

We don’t know. That’s the first thing to make clear.

In the hotel bars of Mayfair, not knowing what’s happening with PPR would appear to put us in the minority. Every quiet conversation of late has revolved around the Paris-based company, which owns Gucci Group along with a few retail and sportswear businesses that no-one seems to value much. Read more

Surely -- surely! -- I'm not only one to notice that Dorian Nakamoto is an anagram of "No, I am not a dork."

The truth hides in plain sight, people.

Comment on: The Krypto$ theory

Hmmm ...

"ElekDirect Limited is a company which J Roberts’ (a Director) close family has an interest in. The Company consigns its inventory of imperfect units recovered from customers to ElekDirect for onward
re-sale. At the time of re-sale ElekDirect purchases the unit from the Group at a price equal to consignment value plus 50% of the proceeds above consignment value.

"Transactions during the period to 31 December 2013 comprised sales of £769,000 (December 2012: £484,000, March 2013: £908,000, March 2012: £875,000, March 2011: £973,000). At the balance sheet date the amount due from ElekDirect Limited was £32,000 (December 2012: £16,000, March 2013: £18,000, March 2012: £11,000, March 2011: £261,000)."

"Close family" = Sally Roberts, the CEO's wife.

Comment on: WTF, AO IPO PDF?

Well done, CG. Herculean performance.

Comment on: US Macro Live, Yellen monetary policy testimony edition

Public service announcement: this is not a precedent. The regular ML sessions won't now run for three hours. We work on the principle that you couldn't suffer us for that long, and vice versa.

Comment on: US Macro Live, Yellen monetary policy testimony edition

@Medlar: you may call it "ongoing scepticism". Others prefer "embarrassingly wrong-headed long-running anti-stock jihad" ...

Comment on: On the Blinkx -- Update

@Pi1010: "too many wrong calls"? Thanks.

Comment on: F&C confirms...

@Macadam: by clicking on the words you quoted, you'll find that they form a link. Another link can be found in the section called "related links".

Comment on: Premature dissemination, Bloomberg style

@a_spectator: it's a lovely conspiracy theory but, unless I'm missing something crucial, there doesn't seem to be much evidence for it. There are only five trades on the tape from between when the Canada line was suspended and the clarified (!) statement, all for relatively piddling amounts. Throughout that period, the advertised spread moved from £11.30/£11.75 to £11.50/£11.75. (It then closed at £11.30/£11.75.) And GS, as far as I can see, don't make a market in the London line. The burnt fingers you mention seem to be largely theoretical.

Comment on: Coastal Energy, the oil and knickers-in-twist combine...

@reviedon: when you start clicking on more adverts, I'll start writing posts at 7.45am.

Comment on: Vodamort and the Chamber of Secrets

@taxgift45: ML's back next week, once August is out of the way.

Comment on: What is the value of unique?