Worldwide: Offshore-i: Quarter One 2014 Report On Offshore M&A

Last Updated: 22 May 2014
Article by Cameron Adderley


Here we review activity levels for the first quarter of 2014, which marks the start of the third year of publishing this report.

Offshore-i sets out to provide insights and useful data on the mergers and acquisitions taking place in the world's major offshore jurisdictions. These markets are key international financial centres and critical links in the global supply chain propping up trade and investments flows worldwide, and are the places where Appleby conducts its business on a day-to-day basis. Given the interdependence of offshore centres and much larger onshore economies, the analysis on the following pages can be said to represent a bellwether of activity that stretches far beyond the borders of the nine countries within its remit.

On that basis, the most significant conclusion to be drawn from the M&A figures for the first quarter of 2014 is that we have definitely turned a corner away from a difficult five years following the global financial crisis in 2008/09. Whilst the number of deals done in Q1 2014 was down on the number done in the previous quarter as expected, the value of the transactions was up considerably. A historical look at our data shows the first quarter of the year is often the quietest in terms of both volume and value, and that Q1 volumes are always down on Q4. This break in the trend sets the stage for an active 2014 and a consistency in the positive uptrend we have seen for the last 12 months.

What's more, this first quarter represents the fifth consecutive three-month period in which offshore M&A deal values have increased, and is – barring one outlier – the highest value quarter since Q4, 2010. This quarter's average deal size for announced offshore transactions stands at USD110m, an average that has only been topped once since global recession set in, and that was in the anomalous quarter of Q4, 2012 when British Virgin Islands-listed oil exploration business TNK-BP was sold to Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft for USD56bn.

Today the offshore region, which ranks sixth on the list of world markets for Q1, 2014 by deal volume, sits comfortably in fourth position globally by the value of deals taking place on its shores. The value of transactions involving offshore targets was higher in the last quarter than in Eastern Europe (including Russia), and Oceania, which includes Australia, combined.

The year 2013 was characterised by a slow and steady increase in deal activity across our markets, as stability returned after 2012's Eurozone crisis and the uncertainty created by the US presidential elections and America's so-called "Fiscal Cliff". To see such a strong start to 2014 gives us confidence that M&A activity, buoyed by strengthening international capital markets, is now firmly back on our clients' agendas.

Whilst a sustained period of growth in M&A values can only be good news, not one of us has a crystal ball. There are potentially influential factors that we will be monitoring closely as the year progresses, among them the uncertainty around the escalation of tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine. We know that the Asian markets in particular can be sensitive to this type of negative news happening elsewhere in the world.

Nevertheless, a year ago the markets were still focused on restructurings and insolvencies, and on the threat of a global triple-dip recession. Today, sentiment has quite noticeably shifted, with deal levels continuing to grow and IPO lawyers back in hot demand. In this quarter, deal values strengthened not only offshore but also in the global economy's heartlands of North America and Western Europe, on which we are all dependents. Offshore growth undoubtedly rests on the fortunes of these much larger markets, and so we follow those with interest.

We hope that you find our analysis on the following pages useful. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with your usual Appleby contact should you have any questions.


There are a number of key themes that emerge from the statistics outlined on these pages. In particular:

  • There were 572 deals in the quarter, which was down on the previous quarter but considerably busier than the first quarter of 2013, which saw 528 deals. The first quarter of the year is nearly always the quietest in terms of deal volumes.
  • The value of deals was USD62.9bn, one of the highest quarters we have seen. This was up 14% on the previous quarter, which was the highest of last year, and marks the fifth consecutive quarter for deal value growth.
  • The average transaction offshore in Q1 was worth USD110m, which compares to an average of USD76m since the start of 2010. Only one quarter has topped this one for average deal size in the last seven years.
  • There were 15 deals worth in excess of USD1bn this quarter, including five worth more than USD2bn, and these big deals spanned a wide range of sectors.
  • Financial services and insurance continues to be the most active sector, while retail, construction and media and publishing also feature heavily.
  • The largest type of deal by both volume and value was minority stake transactions, which make up almost half of deal value this quarter.
  • There were 34 IPOs announced in the quarter, worth USD11.7bn. In the past decade, that cumulative value has only been topped on five occasions, and this quarter's average IPO size of USD345m has only been beaten once in the last decade.
  • Cayman attracted 164 deals with a cumulative worth of USD20.7bn, thereby accounting for 29% of the deals done offshore in the quarter, and for exactly a third of the dollars spent.
  • With USD52bn of offshore acquirer deals, this quarter has in fact been beaten only twice in the past four years for the amount of money being invested by businesses incorporated offshore. Five of the 10 largest acquirer deals involved Bermuda-based businesses.
  • In this quarter, the offshore region trailed only North America, Western Europe and the Far East and Central Asia in terms of deal value. More money was spent offshore than was spent in Eastern Europe, which includes Russia, and Oceania, which includes Australia, combined.


The Corporate & Commercial group at Appleby is among the largest and most widely recognised in the offshore world. Our multi-disciplinary teams advise a large number of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies on all aspects of corporate and commercial law, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, joint ventures, capital markets and investment funds.

Our lawyers are part of a truly international practice operating from our offices in Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Jersey, London, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Shanghai and Zurich. Our network enables us to service our clients all over the world, including the key developing regions and, in particular, the BRIC economies.

Appleby's cross-border Corporate & Commercial team works closely with our global Fiduciary & Administration group, which provides offshore company incorporation, management and administration services to our domestic and international clients in all locations.

View Offshore-i: Quarter One 2014 Report on Offshore M&A here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions