Offshore M&A financial services to the fore

In the third quarter of 2013, there were 538 deals announced offshore, with a combined value of $34.5bn (£21bn). The financial services sector continued to be an extremely active sector, with the Cayman Islands one of the most popular jurisdictions for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity. During this time, Appleby acted on a large number of buy/sell side deals involving banks as well as trust and fiduciary services businesses.

Vendors, buoyed by resilient valuations, are seeking to dispose of assets to free up their balance sheets. Meanwhile, disposals appear ever more attractive to European vendor banks in light of the strict regulatory capital requirements imposed under Basel III.

Purchasers, benefiting from continuing low interest rates, are seeking acquisitions to either grow or consolidate their offshore market share. In other cases, purchasers with no existing offshore presence are deal-hungry to obtain a foothold in the offshore space, attracted to higher yielding offshore markets in contrast to the declining profitability of some domestic businesses. The Cayman Islands remains particularly appealing to purchasers having, for the fifth consecutive year, recently been recognised as the best specialised financial centre in the world, as surveyed by The Banker

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