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Channel Islands Mergers And Acquisitions On The Rise

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Channel Islands’ economic vigour has led to a marked increase in merger and acquisition activity in the islands, proving that the two territories continue to offer a welcoming base for financial services businesses.

Representatives from the Channel Islands' offices of KPMG told senior figures in the finance sector at seminars in Guernsey and Jersey that the high-profile acquisitions of Close Brothers Offshore Group by Kleinwort Benson in early March was a sign of the times. The most recent evidence of this came in the following sucessful merger of Collas Crill, the amalgamation of Jersey-firm Crill Canavan and Guernsey-firm Collas Day, on April 4.

Seminar attendees were told of a significant rise in merger and acquisition activity in the past twelve months, following a less pronounced increase in activity in the previous year. A trend to reduce the amount of debt used to finance transactions was also observed. Many deals are going through with relatively low cash-payments up front, followed by performance-driven deferred payments.

“We are seeing more activity in the islands as the economy continues to come out of recession,” said Robert Kirkby, Advisory Director at KPMG in the Channel Islands. “There was still some uncertainty last year, with the Alternative Investment Funds Directive and the future of Zero-10, but now business is picking up, and some of the significant deals we are seeing act as a barometer for businesses confidence in this area.”

“The Channel Islands remain an attractive market for mergers and acquisitions, both for deals within the island and for companies entering the islands, either from the UK or other offshore jurisdictions,” he added.

However, Mark Ashburn, Senior Manager in Advisory Services at KPMG in the Channel Islands, said that research carried out by KPMG had revealed that nearly half of companies who had gone through a sales process in recent years felt that they had failed to maximize the company’s value at the time of sale. Even a quarter of private equity firms had not managed to realize full sales value.

Ashburn told attendees that businesses had to be prepared to accept that deals would take time to complete, commonly between six months and a year and sometimes longer. In the current climate too, sellers would need to be realistic around their expectations over the sale price, he said.

The seminar also considered the early stages of buying or selling a business, including identifying potential purchase targets and interested purchasers, and some of the pertinent tax issues around mergers and acquisitions.

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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