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Private Equity

Private Equity
Private Equity
Expertise / Sectors / Private Equity

Blakes has one of the strongest and most experienced private equity legal practices in Canada. We drive innovative investment structures and strategic thinking, with a depth of industry knowledge and perspectives from across the country.
Our Private Equity team spans various legal specialty areas, including financial services, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, competition, foreign investment review, real estate, intellectual property, pensions, benefits, and executive compensation.

The Blakes Tax group also plays a key role in assisting our clients, working to ensure tax-effective investments within Canada and across borders.
We also have specialized and regulatory experience in core Canadian industry sectors such as financial services, technology, life sciences, energy, food and agribusiness, gaming, insurance, logistics/supply chain management, manufacturing and retail, among other areas.

We provide strategic advice and legal counsel at each stage of the investment lifecycle: fund formation, fund management and governance, financing, Canadian and international investment-related acquisitions and dispositions, management of portfolio companies, and exit strategies.
Fund Formation and Management
With a comprehensive understanding of the market and close connections to Canadian and international financial institutions, our team works with fund sponsors to establish –publicly registered and private funds as well as investment vehicles. We also advise domestic and non-resident investors on structuring, commercial agreements, governance, regulatory compliance, market expectations and tax planning.
The Blakes team has extensive experience advising on the creation and structuring of open-ended and closed-ended investment funds, including private equity, hedge, infrastructure, real estate, emerging market, fixed-income, mezzanine and distressed asset funds.
Fund Investments
We work closely with our clients, as both buyers and sellers, to provide advice when formulating an investment strategy and structuring and executing an investment-related transaction. This includes sourcing opportunities, financing, and advising on equity and debt investments and co-investments, convertible shares, private placements and private investments in public entities. We advise both investors and fund investees, providing a 360-degree approach to investment transactions.
In addition to retail investors, a significant part of our experience is advising institutional investors (including regulated entities) on their investments. We have assisted some of Canada’s largest and most active pension funds on their fund investments in Canada and internationally. We have also advised investor clients on more-tailored fund arrangements and in situations where the client is a flagship investor.
Buyouts have long been the core strength of our Private Equity practice. We work with both buyers and sellers at each stage of a transaction from initial strategy, structuring and due diligence through to financing, negotiation, management, shareholder and investor agreements, and executive compensation. We also provide specialized advice on capital markets, tax and other issues that may arise throughout the course of a buyout transaction.
Whether the buyouts are traditional public or private, distressed, management or corporate partner buyouts, our team leverages our cross-Canada presence to provide strategic advice that reflects jurisdictional nuances and changing market conditions.
Exit Strategies
As legal advisers throughout the investment lifecycle, our Private Equity team is committed to maximizing investment realization. Ahead of exit transactions, we advise on liquidity strategies, advance planning, financing and process expectations.
Our Capital Markets practice provides the expertise needed for public exits such as initial public offerings and public market sales, including registration, prospectus preparation, listing applications, governance and post-offering requirements. When considering a public or private sale, our team has the transactional capabilities to advise on all sizes of domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and trade sales, from start to finish.

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Recent Experience
  • Sycamore Partners on its acquisition of Lowe's Companies, Inc.’s Canadian retail business including Lowe’s Canada and Rona stores.

  • Fullsteam Holdings LLC on its acquisition of Vonigo Software Ltd., a provider of enterprise software for service companies.

  • ​The Riverside Company on its C$178-million acquisition of PFB Corporation.

  • Trivest Partners on its investment in Les pieces d’auto Transit Inc., a Quebec-based distributor of after-market automotive parts.

  • ​Pipp Mobile Storage Inc., a portfolio subsidiary of Novacap Industries, on its acquisition of GGS Structures and its affiliates.

  • ​DW Healthcare Partners, a healthcare-focused private equity firm, on its acquisition of Bio Agri Mix, LP from Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc.

  • ​Conexiom, a Luminate Capital Partners portfolio company, on its US$130-million growth investment from Warburg Pincus.

  • ​Canadian counsel to Comvest Partners on its strategic investment in Gen3 Marketing, LLC.

  • ​​Canadian counsel to L Catterton in connection with its acquisition of a majority interest in the Beauty Industry Group.

  • ​Canadian counsel to affiliates of Apollo Global Management on the acquisition of Employbridge, the largest industrial staffing company in the United States.

  • Great Hill Partners on its US$250-million investment in Auvik Networks Inc.

  • Caisse de dépôt et placements du Québec on its second investment in an all-equity round in Poka Inc.

  • Canadian counsel to affiliates of Apollo Global Management in the acquisition of Employbridge, the largest industrial staffing company in the U.S.

  • Luminate Capital Partners, a SaaS-focused private equity firm, on its leveraged acquisition of the shares of Axonify Inc., a personalized digital-learning solution for frontline employees.

  • OpenGate Capital on the sale of its portfolio company Energi Fenestration Solutions to a group of buyers.

  • Investissement Québec in a C$150-million investment in Olymel L.P.

  • BDC Capital on its investment Pliteq Holdings Inc.

  • Canadian counsel to KPS Capital Partners on the sale of TaylorMade Golf to Centroid Investment Partners.

  • CAI Capital Partners V LP on the sale of its portfolio company, Javelin Technologies Inc., to TriMech Acquisition Canada Corporation, a company indirectly controlled by The Halifax Group.

  • Sheridan Capital Partners on the sale of Canadian Orthodontic Partners to Pamlico Capital.

  • Canadian counsel to Apollo Global Management in connection with its US$5-billiion privatization of Michaels (arts and crafts retailer).

  • Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Investissement Québec and other participants on their investment in Inovia Capital’s C$450-million backing of domestic tech champions.

  • Canadian counsel to Apollo Global Management for its US$891-million acquisition, through its affiliate, Athene Holding Ltd., of substantially all of the assets of Donlen Corporation and its subsidiaries.

  • Canadian counsel to Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. and Koch Minerals & Trading, LLC on their US$1.1-billion acquisition of the PQ Performance Chemicals business of PQ Group Holdings Inc.

  • Gauge Capital and its portfolio company Schlesinger Group, Inc. on their acquisition of Addison Research.

  • Canadian counsel to L Catterton in connection with its €4-billion acquisition of Birkenstock.

  • Apax Partners on its acquisition of a majority stake of Herjavec Group.

  • Audax Capital in connection with its acquisition and disposition of Altasciences Company.

  • Persistence Capital Partners on the sale of MDBriefCase Group Inc. to Think Research Corporation.

  • HgCapital LLP on its investment in Prophix Software.

Awards & Recognition

Recipient of the 2019 “Law Firm of the Year” award for Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law in Canada. 
Best Lawyers

In 2021, Blakes was the No. 1 Canadian firm in several private equity categories, according to rankings from Bloomberg.

A selection of our No. 1 rankings is below:

  • No. 1 in Canada private equity announced deals by deal value

  • No. 1 in Canada private equity announced deals by deal count

  • No. 1 Canadian firm in global private equity announced deals by deal count

  • No. 1 Canadian firm in United States private equity announced deals by deal count

  • No. 1 Canadian firm in Europe private equity announced deals by deal count

Our Private Equity group is a well-known leader, having been recognized in the following surveys and publications:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada