This edition of the Bermuda Public Companies Update summarises significant transactions involving Bermuda companies on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq in the second half of 2020.
Global market update
2020 was characterised by the Covid-19 pandemic and yet, despite its continuing impact, global capital markets surged to all-time highs in the second half of the year. Growth in the tech sector led the way to a US$1.1 trillion of activity for the year, while the retail and consumer sectors suffered the biggest losses. Predictably, global debt markets were busy as well. During the first nine months of 2020, issuances passed a record US$8 trillion.
M&A activity came roaring back from the lows of March. There were US$496 billion in mega transactions (over US$5 billion) recorded in Q3 – double the value recorded in Q2 – according to Refinitiv. In fact, eight of the 10 biggest deals in terms of value were announced in the second half of the year, including S&P Global Inc.’s US$44 billion proposed acquisition of Bermuda company IHS Markit Ltd.
Bermuda companies update
The most significant event in a busy half year for Bermuda public companies was the announcement of IHS Markit Ltd.’s merger agreement with S&P Global Inc., which we discuss in more detail on page 2. Other activity included a number of take-privates and share/notes offerings, as the impact of Covid-19 sent many companies to the markets to raise over US$16.5 billion was raised by Bermuda companies on the NYSE and Nasdaq in a variety of transactions.
Sizeable equity and bond offerings included:
- Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Limited offered US$250 million of ordinary shares in July with a follow-on equity offering worth US$832 million in November.
- Athene Holding Limited raised nearly US$493 million with a bond offering.
- Triton International Limited completed a US$409.5 secondary offering of common shares.
- Liberty Latin America completed a US$350 million offering of Class C common shares.
The total number of Bermuda companies listed on the major US exchanges dropped slightly, as a result of several take-privates, including:
- Central European Media’s US$2.1 billion take-private by way of merger with TV Bermuda Ltd.
- Hudson Limited’s US$311 million take private by way of merger with Dufry Holdco Ltd. to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Dufry
- TransAtlantic Petroleum Limited’s take private by way of merger with TAT Holdco LLC
Other M&A activity included the announced merger of Sirius International Insurance Group Limited (NasdaqGS:SG) with Third Point Reinsurance Limited (NYSE:TPRE). The transaction is expected to complete in Q1 2021, creating a Bermuda-based company called SiriusPoint Limited.
There was one Bermuda company IPO in the period – IBEX Limited, a provider of outsourced customer service products and services, raised US$90.48 million in its IPO on the Nasdaq Global Market in August, trading under the ticker IBEX.