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Cayman leads offshore deal activity in 2014

| 26/02/2015 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): The Cayman Islands has remained the top target destination for offshore dealmaking throughout 2014, according to a report released by offshore law firm Appleby. The reported showed that the final three months of the year accounted for a quarter of all deals.

The latest edition of Offshore-i, an Appleby report that provides data and insight on merger and acquisition activity in the major offshore financial centres, focuses on transactions announced during the fourth quarter of 2014, as well as the year as a whole.

Numbers show 2,687 deals were valued at USD277bn, making 2014 a peak year for offshore M&A. The report found the final quarter of the year maintained the run of 600-plus deals per quarter that started in early 2013.

“Cayman undeniably played a key role in what was the best year for offshore-targeted M&A and IPOs in the past decade,” said Simon Raftopoulos, a Cayman-based partner and member of the firm’s corporate finance and insurance teams. “In each quarter of 2014, Cayman attracted the highest volume of offshore M&A transactions and the jurisdiction was also home to some of the year’s biggest deals in terms of dollars spent,” he stated.

During the fourth quarter, Cayman’s top deal activities attracted some of the year’s biggest tech deals, with a total of 159 local deals recorded during that quarter of 2014. The report found Cayman was almost 50 deals ahead of its closest comparator. These deals accounted for a cumulative value of USD15.6bn, representing a 7% increase of the third quarter of the year.

The firm attributed that to the Cayman Islands being home to two of the biggest deals that happened during the fourth quarter: the USD2.25bn minority state purchase of South Caucasus Pipeline Company by Myanmar-based Petronas Dagangan Bhd and the USD1.2bn acquisition of Hanwha Q-Cells Investment Co. Ltd. by Cayman-based Hanwha SolarOne Company Ltd.

According to the firm, throughout 2014, the Cayman Islands were on top in the offshore jurisdictions’ notable contribution to the global information technology sector. The report stated that Cayman unsurprisingly dominated offshore technology deals by value thanks to the USD21.8bn listing of Alibaba Group, the Chinese internet firm incorporated in Cayman, on the New York Stock Exchange in September. Also, the Giant Interactive Group of Cayman was sold to a Chinese investment consortium for USD3bn in another major technology transaction.

“With an aggregate technology deal value of USD44.6bn, Cayman was the favoured offshore target of buyers of tech businesses, accounting for 43% of deals done and 75% of all tech dollars spent offshore over the course of 2014,” Raftopoulos said.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

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