Welcome to Conyers’ 2020 Norway Practice Bulletin. Our annual publication underscores the importance of the Norwegian market to our Bermuda corporate practice. Of course, this year’s bulletin comes to you in very different circumstances to those of previous years, as the impact of COVID-19 has changed our world. We sincerely hope that you, your families and your colleagues are staying safe and healthy during this trying period.
We would like to reassure our clients and business colleagues that we remain available to provide advice during this difficult time, when many organisation will have changing needs. For information on managing your Bermuda business and transactions during the pandemic, and on Economic Substance implications, please click on the above links. Further topical articles can be found here.
While COVID-19 has changed the way we work, business in Bermuda is carrying on as usual, a fact demonstrated by the recent closing of Carnival Corporation’s US$6 billion financing deal, the largest ever ship financing involving Bermuda-registered vessels.
In this issue we highlight the impressive growth in the number of Bermuda companies listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and the Norway Over-the-Counter market over the last five years – a dozen new listings between them, including BW Energy’s IPO on the Oslo Børs in February. While sourcing capital generally continued to be a challenge for the shipping and offshore energy sectors in 2019, there has been some significant capital markets activity among these companies over the past year, which we have also highlighted in this issue.
The impact of the oil price crash and the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly take a large toll in 2020. We are already seeing a significant amount of restructuring activity for clients in the offshore energy sector, and expect to see more in coming weeks and months.
Although the pandemic has prevented us from making our usual visit to Norway this spring, we remain committed to sustaining our highly valued relationships with Norwegian law firms, defence clubs, shipowners and financial institutions.