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Financial Services M&A

Financial Services M&A
Financial Services M&A
Expertise / Practices / Financial Services / Financial Services M&A

Blakes is an excellent legal advisory firm’ … it has ‘a strong overall culture centred on client focus, responsiveness and industry expertise.’ Other sources praise the firm's ‘deep bench strength’ and ‘very commercial advice,’ with one saying: ‘They are superb lawyers.’

Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2021 ranks Blakes in Band 1 for Banking & Finance

Blakes has one of the largest and most active mergers and acquisitions practices in Canada, having been involved in more than 1,400 global public and private M&A transactions, with an aggregate dollar value of US$1.5-trillion, in the past 10 years. According to Bloomberg and Refinitiv, Blakes is the No. 1 Canadian law firm in global M&A by deal count and value for this period, 2010-2019. Our M&A leadership includes the financial services sector, where Blakes provides strategic counsel in M&A transactions involving domestic and international financial services companies, including banks, insurance companies, payment card companies, wealth management firms, trust companies, and consumer and commercial loan providers.

Blakes has critical experience running some of the largest sell-side auctions in Canada, including the sale of Standard Life Canada, the sale of MBNA’s credit card business and the sale of Jarislowsky, Fraser Limited to Scotiabank. 

Recent Experience


  • Intact Financial Corporation on its proposed C$12.3-billion acquisition, together with Tryg A/S, of RSA Insurance Group Plc and related private placements of C$4.45-billion of subscription receipts.

  • A shareholder of Canada Protection Plan on the sale of its life insurance distribution business to Foresters Financial.

  • Standard Life plc on the sale of its Canadian business to Manulife for C$4-billion.

  • Intact Financial Corporation on its C$2.6-billion acquisition of the Canadian insurance businesses (life and P&C) of AXA SA.

  • Aegon N.V. on the sale of its Canadian business to Wilton Re Ltd, a subsidiary of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, for C$600-million.

  • Intact Financial Corporation on its sale of AXA Canada’s life insurance business to SSQ Life Insurance Company Inc. for C$300-million.

  • Canadian Western Bank on the sale of its property and casualty insurance subsidiary Canadian Direct Insurance Inc. to Intact Financial Corporation for C$197-million.

  • Desjardins Group on the sale of its pet insurance business to Economical Mutual Insurance Company.

  • VRG Capital Corp. on the sale of Jones Brown Inc. to Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

  • VRG Capital Corp. in connection with its backing of a management buyout of Jones Brown Inc., and the subsequent acquisition of Pearson Dunn Insurance.


  • Hub International Inc., Canada’s largest insurance brokerage, on the C$4.4-billion sale of Hub from Apax Partners LLP to Hellman & Friedman LLC.

  • Hub International Inc. on various insurance brokerage acquisitions including, the acquisition of Seymour Alper Inc., Integro (Canada) Ltd., the insurance business of Cypher Systems Group, and Proteus Performance Management Inc.

  • Performance Management, a provider of specialized pension plan governance and investment consulting.

  • Verico Financial Group, a Vancouver-based provider of mortgage-loan brokerage services, on the sale of an equity interest to B2B Bank, a unit of Laurentian Bank of Canada.

Payment Cards

  • Global Payments Inc. in its acquisition of the merchant acquiring business and portfolio of 40,000 merchants of Desjardins Group

  • Bank of America/MBNA Canada on the acquisition of MBNA Canada’s credit card portfolio by TD Bank Group in a transaction valued at C$8.5-billion.

  • Canadian Tire Corporation on its agreement with Scotiabank regarding a strategic partnership that will see Scotiabank acquire a 20 per cent equity interest in Canadian Tire’s financial services business for C$500-million in cash.

  • PayPal Holdings, Inc. on its US$400-million acquisition of Hyperwallet Systems Inc.

  • Heartland Payment Systems on the sale of its share of Collective Point of Sales Solutions, a Canadian payment processor, to Elavon, Inc.

  • BofA Canada Bank in the sale of its Shoppers Drug Mart credit card portfolio to the Royal Bank of Canada.


  • FleetCor on the acquisition of Associated Foreign Exchange, Inc. (AFEX), and on its acquisition of Cambridge Mercantile Corp., a business-to-business payments company, for approximately US$650-million.

  • Stored Value Solutions, a subsidiary of FleetCor Technologies, Inc., on its acquisition of Buyatab Online Inc., as part of its expansion in the emerging digital-gifting space.

  • TD Bank Group on its acquisition of Layer 6 Inc., a Toronto-based artificial intelligence innovator and pioneer serving the financial services industry.

Commercial Leasing

  • Wells Fargo & Company on its C$32-billion acquisition of GE Capital’s commercial distribution finance and vendor finance businesses.

  • Element Financial Corporation on its acquisition of PHH Arval, PHH Corporation’s North American fleet management unit, for C$1.4-billion in cash.

  • CIT Financial on the C$1-billion sale of its Canadian equipment financing and corporate financing activities to Laurentian Bank of Canada.

  • ECN Capital Corp. on the approximately C$900-million sale of its Canadian Commercial and Vendor Finance assets to Canadian Western Bank.

  • Element Financial Corporation on its acquisition of GE Capital’s Canadian fleet portfolio and related operational resources for consideration of approximately C$570-million.

  • The Bank of Nova Scotia on the sale of the business and assets of Roynat Lease Finance, a division of its subsidiary Roynat Inc., to Meridian Credit Union Limited.

  • Wells Fargo on the acquisition of BNP Paribas’ North American oil and gas commercial lending portfolio.

Consumer Lending

  • MCAP Financial Corporation on its C$1.5-billion mortgage purchase from Home Trust Company.

  • Banco Santander S.A. on its acquisition of Carfinco Financial Group Inc. for C$298-million.

  • Friedman Fleischer & Lowe LLC on its acquisition of a minority stake in SNAP Financial Group, a Vancouver-based provider of consumer and commercial lending services, for C$60-million.

  • CIT on the sale of its personal computer financing business to Dell.

Wealth and Asset Management

  • AST Investor Services Inc. (Canada) on its C$165-million acquisition by TMX Group Limited

  • The Toronto-Dominion Bank on its C$792-million acquisition of Greystone Capital Management Inc.

  • CI Financial Corp. on its C$780-million acquisition of Sentry Investments Corp.

  • Macquarie Group on the C$132-million sale of its Canadian retail business, Macquarie Private Wealth Inc., to Richardson GMP Limited.

  • Industrial Alliance Financial Services Inc. on the sale of its subsidiary iA Investment Counsel Inc. (operating under the brands T.E. Wealth and Leon Frazer & Associate) to Canadian Western Bank.

  • Jarislowsky, Fraser Limited and its Board of Directors in connection with its sale to Scotiabank.

  • UBS Global Asset Management (Canada) Inc. on the sale of its Canadian fixed income, equity and balanced account business to Fiera Capital Corporation.

Asset-Based Lending

  • CIT Financial on the sale of its 50 per cent interest in CIBC Equipment Financing to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Credit Unions

  • Central 1 Credit Union, the largest shareholder of Credential Financial Inc., in the merger of Credential Financial Inc., Qtrade Canada Inc. and NEI Investments.

  • Federation des caisses populaires de l’Ontario Inc. and Caisse Populaire des Voyageurs Inc. on the acquisition of six branches and agencies from Desjardins Credit Union Inc.

Corporate Trustee Services

  • Canadian Western Bank on the sale of the stock transfer, corporate trust and employee plan services businesses of Valiant Trust Company to Computershare Limited for C$33-million.

  • Equity Financial Trust Company on the sale of its corporate trust and transfer agency business to The TMX Group, Inc.

Multi-Jurisdictional Financial Services M&A

  • A potential local buyer of public and private multi-jurisdictional banking assets in the Caribbean region.

Awards & Recognition

Blakes Financial Services lawyers have been recognized as leaders in their field in the most recent editions of the following publications:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 

  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Blakes is “Most Frequently Recommended” in Banking & Financial Institutions every year since the directory’s inception in 1997.

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada 

  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada 

  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial and Corporate Law Firms 

  • The Legal 500 Canada 

  • Who's Who Legal: Banking

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 

  • Who's Who Legal: Insurance & Reinsurance

  • Who's Who Legal: Project Finance

  • Who's Who Legal: Transport – Aviation Finance

  • Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Banking, Finance and Transactional Lawyers

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada