This edition of the Bermuda Public Companies Update summarises significant transactions involving Bermuda public companies in the second half of 2019. Conyers is consistently recognised as the leading Bermuda law firm advising Bermuda public company issuers and underwriters. 2019 was another busy year for Conyers in this space as we were fortunate to be instructed on more mandates involving Bermuda public companies than any other firm.

Global market update

Geopolitical factors including US-China trade tension, Brexit and Hong Kong unrest impacted markets worldwide in 2019: global IPO activity fell by 20% and the total value of capital raised fell by 8%. However, while the number of domestic US IPOs also dropped by 20%, the total US IPO value increased 31% over 2018 due to some landmark deals such as Uber, Avantor and Lyft.1

M&A activity remained generally robust in 2019 despite the uncertainties, particularly in the US which saw 15 of the 20 largest deals. Cross-border M&A saw a significant drop, representing just 30% of global volume in 2019, the lowest share in ten years.

Bermuda companies update

Some US$19.5 billion in capital was raised in 2019 by Bermuda companies listed on the NYSE and Nasdaq, with the second half of the year performing significantly better than the first half. This is up from US$13.2 billion in 2018.

M&A activity accounted for more than 20 of the transactions involving Bermuda public companies in H2 2019. In this issue we feature one of the biggest of those deals – Aircastle’s US$7.4 billion acquisition by Marubeni and Mizuho. Another big-ticket M&A deal was Central European Media Enterprises’ agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of PPF Group N.V. in a cash transaction valued at approximately US$2.1 billion.

There was one Bermuda company IPO on a US exchange in the period – Borr Drilling Limited began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on 31 July 2019 under the ticker symbol BORR, issuing 5,750,000 shares at a price of $9.30 per share and raising over US$53 million. This is a secondary listing – the company continues its primary listing on the Oslo Børs under the ticker BDRILL.

We hope this update on Bermuda public companies market activities will be of interest to our legal colleagues, clients and Bermuda market followers.

1 Baker McKenzie Cross-Border IPO Index 2019

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