Morning Briefing: Global insurance sector M&A increases for first time in 3 years

by NZ Lawyer11 Feb 2015
Global insurance sector M&A increases for first time in 3 years
The level of M&A activity in the global insurance sector has reached its highest level in three years according to a report from Clyde & Co. Each six-month period of last year saw 192 deals, a rise of 21 per cent from the previous year. However there are sharp regional differences. In the US and the Middle East activity surged, while in Europe it dropped back. In Asia-Pacific there was a marginal rise. Andrew Holderness, head of the law firm’s corporate insurance group says that the environment is exciting: “Looking ahead there is a sense of renewed energy around transactions across the re/insurance market which has spurred the increase in the number of deals over the last 12 months. With the number of deals announced already in 2015, it is likely that this will persist.”
Slater & Gordon continues to grow
Slater & Gordon has added two new firms to its growing presence in the UK and confirmed that talks with Quindell are ongoing. The Aussie firm is to acquire Walker Smith Way and Leo Abse & Coen, a combined spend of AU$36.6 million. Slaters is aiming for 45 per cent of its revenue to come from the UK market.
Bird & Bird launches IT projects business
Bird & Bird has announced that it has launched a joint venture with ASE Consulting to support and advise on IT projects. The venture, called Baseline, builds on the firm’s extensive experience in the IT sector and will focus on transformational change programmes. The business is based in the UK but will operate internationally.

Facebook boss’ home dispute could go to court
A real estate dispute between a Californian property developer and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg could end up in court. The issue relates to a property behind Zuckerberg’s Palo Alto home which was purchased by developer Mircea Voskerician. The plan was to tear down the original building and replace it with a 9,600 square foot home that would overlook Zuckerberg’s property including the master bedroom. Voskerician offered to sell part of the land to allow the Facebook billionaire more privacy. This is where is gets tricky; the developer says he offered to sell to Zuckerberg at a discount despite receiving a more generous offer from a third party, because he claims Zuckerberg agreed to introduce him to Silicon Valley contacts, something denied by the Facebook boss. The dispute involves multiple emails and what may or may not have been said but ultimately this could end up with the case going to court and the possibility that Voskerician will get the property back. Standby for the straight-to-DVD sequel to The Social Network!