The global financial markets’ gradual recovery since 2008 continues to dovetail with unprecedented levels of interest in Canada's resource sector. The result has been an explosion of M&A activity in the Canadian energy industry, marked by the return of financial buyers and strategic investors pursuing acquisitions in order to increase earnings and gain both operational and technological expertise.
 
There is every reason to think this trend will accelerate and expand. Mega-deal activity is set to continue in the Canadian energy sector, characterized by creative deal structures such as partnerships, joint ventures, minority investments and long-term supply arrangements.
 
Price and valuation volatility, along with debt and liquidity issues, will significantly affect M&A, consolidation and divestitures activity. Despite signs of financial recovery, the gap between buyers’ and sellers’ expectations will likely lead to more unsolicited and hostile bids. Legal loopholes and market underperformance will drive greater shareholder activism. Foreign energy companies continue to enter Canada and will change the nature and practices of our domestic industry.
 
In this rapidly fluctuating environment, Blakes is proud to boast an extraordinary depth of talent and resources in the energy/finance field. More than 100 M&A lawyers and more than 100 energy law practitioners throughout our Canadian and overseas offices constitute an exceptional cross-border capability for our clients every day. We believe that no other firm can combine our expertise in M&A, competition, securities, tax and environmental law with our thorough understanding of the oil and gas industry’s business and legal environment.
 

 
Representative Matters:
  • Represented Daylight Energy Ltd. on its C$2.2-billion acquisition by China Petrochemical Corporation, known as Sinopec Group
  • Assisted Suncor Energy Inc. on its purchase and sale of interests in the Fort Hills and Joslyn mining projects and in the Voyageur (U3) upgrader with Total E&P Canada Ltd., and on related development and operating agreements. Further assisted Suncor with its strategic merger with Petro-Canada
  • Advised UTS Energy Corporation on its C$1.5-billion plan of arrangement with Total E&P Canada Ltd. whereby Total acquired UTS Energy
  • Supported TriStar Oil & Gas Ltd. with its C$2.8-billion acquisition by Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd, thereby creating a new publicly listed company named PetroBakken Energy Ltd.
  • Counsel to Nexen Inc. on its C$735-million acquisition of an additional 15 per cent interest in the Long Lake oil sands joint venture project and the joint venture lands from OPTI Canada Ltd.
  • Advised Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation on its C$4.65-billion purchase of ConocoPhillips' interest in the Syncrude joint venture. The Syncrude joint venture is the largest oil sands venture in the world, that includes surface mining, extraction and upgrading, and has been in production for over 30 years
  • Counsel to Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. on its C$240-million acquisition of Freewest Resources Canada Inc., which was supported by Freewest as superior to an unsolicited take-over bid by Noront Resources Ltd.
  • Represented Pure Energy Services Ltd. in its strategic merger with Canadian Sub-Surface Energy Services Corporation