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

Last Updated: 22 May 2014
Article by Frances Woo and 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.

Frances Woo
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”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.