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Canada M&A

Latest update: 15 January 2021

Canada witnessed a surge in M&A activity in Q4 2020, with total deal value of USD 35.6bn (CAD 44.98bn) on 189 deals - a 4.4x jump in deal value compared to 3Q20 (USD 6.6bn, 149 deals). Despite that increase, total deal value (USD 58.6bn) for all of 2020 reached only 52.7% of total deal value in 2019 (USD 110.6bn). Deal count (576 deals) was also down 14.7% compared to 2019 (675 deals).

  • The robust level of M&A activity in Q4 was largely boosted by the USD 7.6bn acquisition of Husky Energy by Cenovus Energy. The combined company would become the third-largest Canadian natural gas and oil producer, based on company production.
  • The deal performance of the Technology and Telecommunications sectors were impressively resilient in 2020. Those two were the only sectors that achieved an increase in both deal value and deal count compared to 2019. Telecommunications attracted a total of 11 deals worth USD 2.5bn in 2020, contrasted with merely a total of USD 130m invested in the sector with 3 deals in 2019.
  • A total of 78 buyout transactions worth USD 14.9bn were announced in 2020, a 19.6% drop by deal count in 2019 (97 deals, USD 29.4bn). Technology (24 deals, USD 1.4bn) took a central role for PE investors, taking up 30.8% share of total buyout deals by deal count.
  • The total deal value for PE exits reached USD 13.5bn with 64 deals announced, rising 6.6% by deal count compared to 2019 (60 deals, USD 24bn).
  • Inbound activity trended down in both deal value and deal count, totaling 250 inbound deals worth USD 26.6bn in 2020. That represents a 57.4% decline compared to the total inbound value in 2019 (315 deals, USD 62.5bn). The US had the greatest appetite for Canadian assets, with three out of every ten deals coming from US-based investors.

Top Q4 deals

Announced Date
Target
Bidder
Seller
Deal Value USD(m)
25-Oct-2020
Husky Energy
 (Energy, Mining and Utilities)
Cenovus Energy 
 (Canada)

7,640
19-Nov-2020
Norbord
 (Construction)
West Fraser Timber
 (Canada)

3,392
19-Nov-2020
Verafin 
 (Technology)
Nasdaq
 (USA)
Spectrum Equity Management; BDC    Capital; Northleaf Capital Partners; Teralys Capital; Information Venture    Partners 
 (Canada)
2,750
10-Nov-2020
Great Canadian Gaming Corporation
 (Leisure)
Apollo Global Management
 (USA)

2,488
16-Nov-2020
Teranga Gold Corporation
 (Energy, Mining and Utilities)
Endeavour Mining Corporation
 (UK)

2,152

by Melody Ren in Chicago

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