Good morning, it's Paul here.

See Friday's report for a couple of updated sections that I wrote up on Saturday morning, including a review of the Sports Direct (LON:SPD) debacle - in particular a potentially huge tax liability that has cropped up in Belgium. I'm expecting a big drop in share price there today.

The catalogue of things that have gone disastrously wrong is quite astonishing. There is the huge, total loss on DEB shares - which Ashley tries to blame on anyone but himself. He now admits that buying House of Fraser was a mistake. Some see him as a brilliant entrepreneur, but I feel he's far too arrogant & erratic, to be able to sleep at night as a shareholder. Hence why I'm steering well clear.


Takeover bids

Continuing a theme from last week, I note that there seem to be a surge in takeover bids for UK listed companies. Tech companies in particular. This could be an area for rich pickings, if we can identify any patterns in takeover bids, and then buy shares in similar companies which might become bid targets. Tech companies which dominate a particular niche seem to be popular targets at the moment.

Last week, bruised shareholders in accesso Technology (LON:ACSO) got a nice surprise, when it announced it had received potential bid interest. This morning we have a similar announcement from Proactis Holdings (LON:PHD) . A takeover deal would be a good move for PHD, as management have over-geared their balance sheet, and not performed well (profit warning in Feb 2019), so getting bought out would possibly be the best option for shareholders.

There is also news that a Dutch company called Takeaway.com NV is bidding for Just Eat (LON:JE.) at a modest 15% premium, in an all share deal. The two companies are a similar valuation - JustEat shareholders would own 52%, and Takeaway.com shareholders 48% - those percentages strike me as rather appropriate, given that the bid is from Europe!  I can't see why JustEat shareholders would want to own Dutch shares though. Selling this deal to JE shareholders might be a struggle. Takeaway.com looks to be well behind JustEat, with smaller revenues, and is still loss-making. Therefore I would…

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