Appleby has said Guernsey experienced a 40% increase in M&A deal value in 2017; a year in which deal activity rose across the offshore region as a whole.
According to a report released last week by the offshore law firm, it also found that 2017 was the busiest year on record for offshore IPOs.
“Guernsey showed a significant jump in deal value over the previous year, recording more than USD$6bn in transactions in 2017,” said Wendy Benjamin, Group Partner at Appleby (Guernsey) LLP. “This increase is an encouraging trend and representative of the offshore region’s overall strength over the last year.”
Over the course of 2017, Guernsey recorded a total of 157 deals, representing USD6.8bn in value. While value was up, the number of deals experienced a decrease from the previous year.
Across offshore jurisdictions, there were 2,771 deals targeting offshore companies in 2017, representing a total value of USD227bn, the report found. This marked an increase over 2016, which saw 2,735 deals recorded at a value of USD219bn.
“In the face of the substantial geopolitical uncertainty which overshadowed 2017, the offshore region’s positive performance is all the more remarkable,” said Cameron Adderley, Partner and Global Head of Corporate at Appleby. “These deals were led prominently by acquisitions, although a number of companies also chose to add additional financing firepower by issuing new stocks and bonds to eager investors.”
Each deal in the offshore top 10 in 2017 was worth well over USD2bn, with the largest offshore deal being the USD6.8bn purchase of all the issued shares of Belle International, a Cayman Islands-incorporated footwear manufacturer listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Over the course of the year, the offshore region saw three megadeals – those valued at USD5bn or more.
The Cayman Islands remained the busiest jurisdiction for offshore transactions in 2017, recording more than 800 deals. It was followed by Hong Kong (592 deals), the British Virgin Islands (505 deals) and Bermuda (402 deals).
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