Business Transactions Group Year in Review 2018

March 5, 2019

Business Transactions Group Year in Review 2018

In 2018, the M&A market continued to be active, and Seward & Kissel clients sought advice from the Firm’s Business Transactions Group for many complex and exciting deals.

The shipping and offshore drilling industries have seen a recent wave of consolidation, with the Business Transactions Group handling several transformative M&A transactions in 2018. The Year in Review linked above and below highlights several of these matters, including: the merger of Euronav NV (NYSE:EURN) and Gener8 Maritime, Inc. (NYSE:GNRT), creating the leading independent large crude tanker operator in the world with a fleet of 76 operating vessels and market capitalization of approximately $2 billion; the $2.7 billion merger of Transocean Ltd. (NYSE:RIG) and Ocean Rig UDW Inc. (NASDAQ:ORIG), creating one of the largest fleets of offshore drilling rigs; and the $780 million merger of Poseidon Containers Holdings and Global Ship Lease, Inc. (NYSE:GSL) creating a leading containership owner with a fleet of 38 vessels.

As is annually the case at Seward & Kissel, deals involving the purchase or sale of investment management firms, broker-dealers and other strategic transactions in the financial services industry were a large portion of the 2018 work of the Business Transactions Group. The Review highlights a selection of these transactions, including the sale of derivative asset manager Harvest Volatility Management to Victory Capital (NASDAQ:VCTR) and acquisitions of minority stakes in investment management firms by multiple clients including iM Global Partner, Kudu Investment Management, TIG Advisors and White Oak Equity Partners. The Firm also continued to have market leading activity handling seed and accelerator investment transactions related to fund managers. Our IM Deals blog (, which follows transactions and developments involving the investment management industry, continues to be widely read by participants in the sector.

Middle-market M&A transactions in other industries are always part of the mix for the Business Transactions Group, including the acquisition by Himatsingka Seide Ltd. (Bombay:HIMATSEIDE) of the branded home products business of Global Brands Holdings (Hong Kong:GLBRF) and the business combination of Hunter Maritime Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ:HUNT) with Chinese fintech company NCF Wealth Holdings at a $2 billion valuation. In addition, our investment fund and other clients pursued numerous private equity, venture capital and PIPE investment transactions in a wide variety of businesses.

The work of Seward & Kissel’s Business Transactions Group continued to receive independent recognition during 2018. Chambers and Partners, in its 2017 USA Guide, ranked Seward & Kissel as Highly Regarded for Corporate/M&A, saying the firm is “Particularly adept at sell-side and midmarket transactions. Recognized for its cross-border capabilities. Often advises investment funds and clients in the shipping industry.” The Legal 500, in its United States 2017 edition, recommended Seward & Kissel for middle-market M&A work, describing the team as “a very talented, experienced group of individuals who have the ability to think as owners and find ways to resolve differences and close transactions…[t]he practice distinguishes itself through shipping industry and investment management M&A, as well as private equity deals.” The National Law Journal recognized Business Transactions Group co-head Jim Abbott as a 2018 M&A Trailblazer, among only 27 attorneys nationally who it determined were “movers and shakers in the legal industry who have made an impact in their sector through new types of strategies or innovative matters”.

Seward & Kissel clients kept the Business Transactions Group very busy working on complex and important deals in 2018. We look forward to continued opportunities to justify the trust they place in our team.

Click here to read the Year in Review.