China’s sovereign wealth fund considers Daimler investment

Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation (CIC) is pondering the acquisition of an interest in German premium motor vehicles manufacturer Daimler AG (ETR:DAI), Chinese media reported.

The online platform of China’s┬áThe People’s Daily newspaper, The People’s Daily Online, has reported that the sovereign fund is poised to buy a minority stake of between 4% and 10% in Daimler.

Reuters said on Monday it could not reach Daimler immediately for comment on the matter.

Daimler is based in Stuttgart, Germany. The group is composed of five divisions namely Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services.

Betting firm Ladbrokes reveals talks to acquire Irish partner Betdaq

UK online betting and gaming company Ladbrokes plc (LON:LAD) confirmed on Monday it was in talks to potentially take over Irish online sports betting exchange Betdaq.

While the parties, which are in close commercial cooperation, are currently negotiating a deal, there is no guarantee they will reach an agreement, Ladbrokes said.

According to a report from The Times on Saturday, Ladbrokes is weeks away from striking an estimated GBP30m (USD48.1m/EUR36.9m) deal to buy Betdaq. Talks on an acquisition are thought to have commenced almost a year ago and analysts now believe they are moving towards close, The Times said.

A deal is seen to be reached at the end of January or in early February, the paper said, quoting one analyst.

Betdaq is controlled by Dermot Desmond.

Terra Firma revisits plans to sell UK cinema operator Odeon & UCI

UK private equity group Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd plans to shed cinemas operator Odeon & UCI group this year after it put sale talks on ice two years ago in favour of a refinancing, the Financial Times reported, quoting a person in the know.

According to the insider, the offload of Odeon would follow that of utility Phoenix Natural Gas Ltd and renewable energy producer Infinis as the private investor’s founder Guy Hands aims to return cash to supporters.

Terra Firma hopes to bag at least GBP1.2bn (USD1.9bn/EUR1.5bn) from a disposal of the cinema chain, according to the report.

A move to put Odeon up for sale is seen to garner the attention of prior suitors including private equity firm Doughty Hanson’s Vue Entertainment Ltd cinema chain as well as buyout company BC Partners, the Financial Times said, citing people familiar with the matter.

An adviser has not been picked yet and procedures on an offload might not start this year, one person told the paper. However, investors could use recently released financial information and a sale could start earlier, according to another person in the know, quoted by FT.