The vast majority of partnerships on the Bermuda registry are said to be private or closed-end funds. Hailed as an important part of the government’s efforts to achieve growth in the asset management area, amendments have been made to partnership and company legislation to enhance the flexibility and efficiency of Bermuda exempted and limited partnerships and to boost the desirability to use Bermuda as a jurisdiction to establish private equity funds and asset-holding structures.
MJM Limited was awarded Follow-On Deal of the Year this summer by shipping industry publication Marine Money Offshore for our work on the Golar LNG Limited $594 million follow-on equity offering in which we played a role as co-counsel to the issuer alongside Seward & Kissel. Latham & Watkins LLP was counsel to the underwriter.
The Bermuda Monetary Authority (“BMA”) held an informational session on the 24th of July, 2014 regarding the licensing of a CSP. Ms. Tamara Anfossi of the BMA announced that the CSP regime commencement date is pending amendments to the Exchange Control Act 1972 (“Foreign Exchange”). It is anticipated that the amendments to Foreign Exchange will be passed by Parliament prior to January, 2016.
Bermuda is firmly established as the offshore jurisdiction of choice in aviation finance; however, one missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle within this sector has been the non-implementation in Bermuda of what is known as the Cape Town Convention. The Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment (together the “Convention”) came into force on 1 March, 2006. The Convention facilitates aircraft finance transactions by providing a regularised electronic international registry of “international interests” over moveable property (the “International Registry”), such International Registry being recognised in all Contracting States (being countries which have implemented the Convention). The Convention also sets out a framework for dispute management as well as remedies and relief available to creditors.
What is the difference between a local and exempted Company in Bermuda?
At the time of incorporation, a Bermuda company must be registered either as a local or exempted company. A local company is one that is incorporated by Bermudians to trade primarily in Bermuda. An exempted company is one that is incorporated by non-Bermudians for the purpose of conducting business outside Bermuda.
There was further recent evidence that Bermuda’s revolutionary approach to updating its funds regime has attracted a great deal of interest and support from those working in this business sector. Invaluable feedback received from New York decision makers in round table meetings in May 2013 prompted the collaborative efforts of the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), Government of Bermuda, Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) and key members of Bermuda’s funds community to amend Bermuda’s fund legislation, thereby making Bermuda a more competitive and desirable jurisdiction for funds. The changes, driven by this vital input from the US funds industry, led to the launch of two new user-friendly, exempt fund classes which can be registered and launched on a fast-track basis using the BMA’s online system (ERICA).
The Companies Amendment Act 2014 introduced new provisions with regard to the ability of local and exempt companies to acquire land in Bermuda. It should be noted that consent is still required from the Minister of Economic Development in relation to corporate landholding; however, the Minister’s decision will be guided by the provisions of the legislation and the accompanying policy.
In a positive sign for Bermuda’s economy, Education and Economic Development Minister Dr. Grant Gibbons recently released results showing that the midyear total of new company registrations in 2014 stood higher than any midyear totals for the last five years.
The total of 19,151 local and exempted entities on the register at the end of the second quarter of 2014 was bolstered by the registration of 308 new companies (268 international business related) during that period, a slight increase over the 303 new companies (250 international business related) registered during the same period in 2013.