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Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers & Acquisitions
Mergers & Acquisitions
Expertise / Practices / Mergers & Acquisitions

Blakes has one of the largest and most active M&A practices in Canada. With unparalleled experience in public, private, cross-border and private equity transactions, we are frequently retained by major domestic and international companies, financial institutions, private equity funds and leading international law firms to provide strategic counsel in M&A transactions.
 
In the past 10 years, Blakes has been involved in more than 1,400 global public and private M&A transactions, with an aggregate dollar value of US$1.5-trillion. 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.

Transactions on which we regularly advise range from privately negotiated transfers of shares or assets to the largest public company or trust mergers and acquisitions completed by way of take-over bids, amalgamations and plans of arrangement. We advise clients on structuring considerations, related-party rules, special committee obligations, take-over defences and contested shareholder meetings.
 
Blakes also provides its M&A clients with the benefit of strategic advice from our Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment group, Canada's top-ranked competition law practice that has unparalleled experience in representing clients before the Canadian Competition Bureau in domestic and cross-border mergers. Our Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment lawyers have successfully represented clients in four of the five contested merger cases that have been litigated in Canada.
 
Our expertise in securities regulatory matters, tax structuring, litigation, real estate, environmental, intellectual property and information technology issues, along with industry knowledge gained in serving a diverse client base, ensures that we are able to provide highly effective and specialized advice to clients from the inception to closing of transactions.
 
The national nature of our practice, coupled with the large volume of transactions that we work, on allows us to remain at the forefront of the latest developments in Canadian M&A.

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Recent Experience
  • Canadian counsel to Coty Inc. on its strategic transaction with KKR for Coty’s Professional and Retail Hair business valued at US$4.3-billion.

  • Kognitiv Corporation on its C$525-million acquisition of Aimia Inc.’s Loyalty Solutions business.

  • Lululemon Athletica Inc. on its US$500-million acquisition of Mirror and new one-year US$300-million revolving credit facility.

  • Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners in connection with its acquisition of Xplornet Communications Inc., Canada’s largest rural-focused broadband service provider, which is the largest private equity transaction in Canada in 2020.

  • Torstar Corporation on its proposed acquisition by NordStar Capital LP.

  • Equinix, Inc. on its C$1.04-billion acquisition of 25 data-centre facilities across Canada from BCE Inc.

  • Nutrien Ltd. on its proposed acquisition of 100 per cent of the equity of the Tec Agro Group, a leading agricultural retailer and owner of one of the largest branded soybean seeds businesses in Brazil.

  • Canadian counsel to Dell Technologies Inc. on its US$2.075-billion sale of RSA Security LLC to a consortium of investors led by Symphony Technology Group and including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and AlpInvest Partners.

  • The Special Committee of Balmoral Resources Limited on its C$110-million acquisition by Wallbridge Mining Company Limited.

  • Pattern Energy Group Inc. on its approximately US$6.1-billion all-cash acquisition by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

  • Cona Resources Ltd., a portfolio company of Waterous Energy Fund, on its C$740-million acquisition of Pengrowth Energy Corporation.

  • Equinox Gold Corp. on its US$578-million all-stock acquisition of Leagold Mining Corporation and concurrent private placement of US$170-million and debt financing of US$500-million.

  • TC Energy Corporation on the sale of an 85 per cent equity interest in Northern Courier Pipeline to AIMCo and, in conjunction with the sale, the financing of long-term, non-recourse debt, with projected aggregate gross proceeds to TC Energy of C$1.15-billion.

  • Tilray, Inc. on its C$419-million acquisition of FHF Holdings Inc. (d.b.a. Manitoba Harvest) from Compass Group Diversified Holdings, LLC and other shareholders of Manitoba Harvest.

  • WestJet on its acquisition by Onex for approximately C$5-billion.

  • Vistra Energy, as Canadian counsel, on its acquisition with Crius Energy Trust of Crius Energy to form the leading residential electricity provider in the U.S.

  • Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. on its C$331-million acquisition of Enbridge Gas New Brunswick, Inc.

  • Cronos Group Inc. in connection with the C$2.4-billion strategic equity investment in Cronos Group by Altria Group, Inc.

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

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

  • Shell Canada Energy on the purchase by Petronas-owned North Montney LNG Limited Partnership of a 25 per cent stake in the LNG Canada project JV from Shell, PetroChina Kitimat LNG Partnership and Kogas Canada LNG Ltd. (subject to regulatory approvals and closing).

  • Macquarie Infrastructure Partners III L.P. on the sale of its private equity investment in the C$5.125-billion recapitalization of GFL Environmental Inc.

  • The Coutu family, controlling shareholder of The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc., on the sale of all of the shares of The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. to Metro Inc, an acquisition worth C$4.5-billion.

  • Novolex, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, as Canadian counsel, on its US$2.3-billion acquisition of The Waddington Group from Newell Brands, Inc.

  • Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust on its C$3.9-billion combination with Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust.

  • Starlight U.S. Multi-Family (No. 5) Core Fund on the US$1.4-billion acquisition by Tricon Capital Group Inc. of the Fund’s partnership units and its 7,289-unit, multi-family portfolio located in the U.S.

  • Digital Colony Partners and EQT Infrastructure IV Fund on their consortium’s US$14.3-billion agreement to acquire and recapitalize Zayo Group Holdings, Inc.

  • ​​Kinder Morgan Canada Limited on its C$1.8-billion acquisition by Pembina Pipeline Corporation.

  • Intact Financial Corporation on its C$1-billion acquisition of The Guarantee Company of North America and Frank Cowan Company Limited and related C$401-million bought deal public offering.

  • ​Canadian counsel to Heartland Generation Ltd., an affiliate of Energy Capital Partners, on its C$835-million acquisition of Canadian Utilities Ltd.’s natural gas and coal electricity generation interests in Alberta, B.C. and Ontario.

  • Cronos Group on its US$300-million acquisition of Redwood Holding Group.

  • Deka Immobilien on its €345-million acquisition of the 69-storey Stantec Tower in the Ice District of Edmonton, Alberta.

  • Atlantic Gold Corporation on its C$802-million sale to St Barbara Limited.

  • Bentall Kennedy (Canada) Limited Partnership on its acquisition of 1250 René-Lévesque from Oxford Properties Group Inc. and PSP Investment Board.

  • Hudson’s Bay Company in connection with its C$2-billion privatization transaction with a shareholder group led by the Company's Executive Chairman.

  • Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board on their C$1.7-billion acquisition of Altagas Canada Inc.

  • The Stars Group Inc. in connection with its announced US$15-billion enterprise value merger of equals with Flutter Entertainment Inc., one of the largest transactions in Canada in 2019

  • ENMAX Corporation on its US$1.3-billion acquisition of Emera Inc.’s interest in Emera Maine.

  • The Descartes Systems Group Inc. on the C$330-million acquisition of Visual Compliance, a software solutions and services company.

  • CREIT on its security-holder-approved and court-approved arrangement transaction pursuant to which it combined with Choice Properties REIT to create Canada’s largest diversified REIT with a C$16-billion enterprise value.

  • The Stars Group Inc. on its C$6-billion acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming, together with related debt financings, resulting in the world’s largest public online gaming company.

  • Macquarie Infrastructure Partners III L.P. on the sale of its private equity investment in the C$5.125-billion recapitalization of GFL Environmental Inc.

  • Kinder Morgan Canada on its C$4.5-billion sale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and expansion project to the Government of Canada.

  • Cronos Group Inc. in connection with the C$2.4-billion strategic equity investment in Cronos Group by Altria Group, Inc.

  • SOL Investments Limited on its C$1.57-billion sale of 75 per cent of SOL to Parkland Fuel.

  • Nevsun Resources Ltd. on its proposed C$1.5-billion acquisition by Lundin Mining Corp. and Euro Sun Mining Inc.

  • Gypsum Management & Supply, Inc. on its C$800-million acquisition of WSB Titan from TorQuest Partners.

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

  • Maverix Metals Inc. on its purchase of 54 royalties from Newmont Mining Corporation for 60 million common shares, 10 million warrants and US$17-million.

  • Shell Canada Energy on the purchase by Petronas-owned North Montney LNG Limited Partnership of a 25 per cent stake in the LNG Canada project JV from Shell, PetroChina Kitimat LNG Partnership and Kogas Canada LNG Ltd. (subject to regulatory approvals and closing)

  • Cenovus Energy Inc. on its C$17.7-billion acquisition of assets from ConocoPhillips.

  • Pembina Pipeline Corporation on its US$9.7-billion acquisition of Veresen Inc.

  • DigitalGlobe, Inc. in connection with its US$3-billion acquisition by MacDonald, Dettwiler & Associates to form Maxar Technologies Ltd.

  • CCCC International Holding Limited in connection with its proposed C$1.51-billion acquisition of Aecon Group Inc.

  • Delek Group Ltd. on its C$830-million acquisition of Ithaca Energy Inc., which values Ithaca’s enterprise at C$1.68-billion.

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

  • Kinross Gold Corporation on the sale of its 25 per cent interest in the Cerro Casale project and 100 per cent interest in the Quebrada Seca project to Goldcorp Inc. for US$300-million in cash, the assumption by Goldcorp of a US$20-million payment obligation and the issuance of a 1.25 per cent Goldcorp royalty relating to such projects.

  • Nextview New Energy Lion Hong Kong Limited on the purchase of all shares of Vancouver-listed company Lithium X Energy Corp. for C$265-million.

  • Audax Capital in connection with the leveraged buyout of Altasciences Company, Inc.

  • Lavazza S.p.A. on its acquisition of Kicking Horse Coffee Co. Ltd.

  • Intrawest Resorts Holdings, Inc. on its acquisition by a newly formed entity controlled by affiliates of the Aspen Skiing Company, L.L.C. and KSL Capital Partners, LLC.

  • TransCanada Corporation on its US$13-billion acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc.

  • Suncor Energy Inc. on its purchase of all of the shares of Canadian Oil Sands Limited valued at C$6.6-billion.

  • Sagard Holdings and Fairfax Financial on their US$575-million acquisition of the business of  Performance Sports Group Ltd.

  • Cerberus Capital Management LP on its acquisition of automotive parts supplier ABC Group Inc.

  • Husky Energy on their C$1.7-billion sale of 65 per cent of certain midstream assets to Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited and Power Assets Holding Limited (three other law firms also advised Husky)

  • 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.

  • Capstone Infrastructure Corporation on iCON Infrastructure Partners III's acquisition of Capstone for approximately C$480-million.

  • The executive chairman of Halogen Software Inc. in connection with its MBO/LBO transaction.

  • Mackenzie Investments, a subsidiary of IGM Financial Inc., on its acquisition of 13.9 per cent interest in China Asset Management Co., Ltd. for C$647-million.

Awards & Recognition

Blake Cassels & Graydon is the leading firm in the Canadian market....
Who’s Who Legal: M&A and Governance

Blakes is consistently recognized as a leading M&A law firm in Canada having recently won the following awards:

  • Named 2020 Corporate Law Firm of the Year in the Chambers Canada Awards

  • Recognized as the 2021 Best Lawyers Law Firm of the Year for Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Received the Canada M&A Deal of the Year award at the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) inaugural 2020 IFLR1000 Canada Awards for our work on the Onex acquisition of West Jet Airlines

In the first half of 2020, Blakes was the No. 1 Canadian firm in several M&A categories according to rankings from Bloomberg, Refinitiv and Mergermarket.

A selection of our No. 1 rankings is below:

  • No. 1 in Canada announced deals – values up to US$500-million by deal value (Refinitiv)

  • No. 1 in Canada completed deals by deal value (Bloomberg, Refinitiv, Mergermarket)

  • No. 1 Canadian firm in global announced deals – counsel to principals by deal count (Mergermarket)

  • No. 1 Canadian firm in global announced deals – values up to US$250-million by deal value (Bloomberg, Refinitiv, Mergermarket)

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