More money was spent on M&A transactions in Jersey than any other offshore jurisdiction in the first half of 2018, according to a report released today by offshore law firm Appleby.   

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 over the first half of 2018.

Following a similar pattern to most of the world’s regions, the volume of offshore deals has fallen back from levels seen in the latter half of 2017, while value is on the rise. Jersey meanwhile experienced a 6% increase in deal activity while seeing a massive 411% increase in deal value driven by the $62bn acquisition of Jersey-incorporated Shire PLC by Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical – the largest offshore transaction of the first six months of the year.

“Deals targeting Jersey-incorporated companies accounted for nearly one-third of the value of all offshore transactions in the first half of the year,” said Wendy Benjamin, partner and group head of Appleby’s Corporate Department in Jersey. “Additionally, Jersey has gone against a global trend by experiencing an increase in deal volume over the final six months of 2017.”

Jersey-incorporated companies were the target of 75 deals in the first six months of 2018 worth a cumulative value of $69.86bn. The jurisdiction was also home to two of the 10 biggest offshore deals of the half-year period: the Shire PLC acquisition and the $5.08bn acquisition of business-to-business event organizer UBM plc by Informa plc.

Collectively, the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man performed well in the first half of 2018, with investment funds and manufacturing companies featuring prominently into deal activity. The jurisdictions showed a strong preference for domestic deals, demonstrating faith in the local economies and a recognition that there are local targets that are worth investing in.