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About Alex

Alex's practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and corporate governance. Clients value his practical approach and strategic advice in helping them achieve creative solutions to their objectives.

Alex advises Canadian and international clients on public and private M&A transactions and has experience in both negotiated and unsolicited transactions. He also advises issuers on equity and debt financings, public company corporate governance, and securities law matters.

Alex has represented boards and shareholders in many shareholder activism matters and has played a central role in some of Canada’s most high-profile proxy contests. His extensive experience in corporate governance matters provides him with valuable insight as a key member of the Firm's Corporate Governance practice.

Prior to joining Blakes, Alex practised corporate and securities law at other leading law firms in Toronto and San Francisco.

Select Experience

Examples of Alex’s experience include acting for:

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Turquoise Hill Resources Limited, owner of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia, on its C$4.3-billion going private acquisition by its controlling shareholder Rio Tinto plc

  • Northview Fund on its recapitalization transaction that included the acquisition of three multi-family property portfolios for C$742-million and its conversion into Northview Residential REIT, a C$2.7-billion, internally managed, transitional open-ended real estate investment trust focused on national multi-family properties

  • Ten Coves Capital on the C$274-million acquisition of TSX-listed Q4 Inc. by Sumeru Equity Partners, through a transaction in which Ten Coves will roll its interest in Q4 into a new private company controlled by Sumeru

  • Terra Firma Capital Corporation in a go-private transaction led by its founder

  • Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. on its acquisition of Nu-Tech Precision Metals Inc., a custom manufacturer of specialty extruded metals, fabricated parts and welded components

  • Starlight U.S. Multi-Family (No. 1) Core Plus Fund on the US$600-million sale to Sherrin U.S. Multi-Family (No. 1) Holding LP of a portfolio of seven multi-family properties totaling 2,219 units located in the southern United States

  • Deciem Beauty Group Inc. on the agreement by The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. to increase its investment to approximately 76% from 26% at a current enterprise valuation of approximately US$2.2-billion and to purchase the remaining interests after a three-year period

  • The consortium led by Starlight Investments and KingSett Capital on its C$4.8-billion acquisition of Northview Apartment REIT, one of Canada's largest publicly traded multi-family apartment REITs with a portfolio of approximately 27,000 residential suites and 1.2-million square feet of commercial space in more than 60 markets across Canada

  • Green Rise Foods Inc. in connection with the repurchase of shares from a control block pursuant to an issuer bid carried out pursuant to an exemption order

  • The Special Committee of the Board of Trustees of Agellan Commercial REIT in connection with the proposed acquisition of all outstanding units of the REIT by Elad Genesis Limited Partnership, an affiliate of El-Ad Group, Ltd., in a transaction that values the REIT at approximately C$680-million, including the REIT's net debt

  • The Bank of Nova Scotia on the sale of ScotiaLife Trinidad & Tobago Limited and Scotia Jamaica Life Insurance Company Limited to Sagicor Financial Corporation in connection with the proposed acquisition of Sagicor by Alignvest Acquisition II Corporation

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

  • ScotiaBank on its role as financial advisor to Arizona Mining Inc. in connection with its acquisition by South32 Limited in a transaction valued at C$2.1-billion

  • A TSX and NASDAQ-listed company in the organic and natural food industry in connection with its strategic alternatives review process that culminated in a US$85-million equity investment by a U.S.-based private equity firm in exchangeable preferred shares of a subsidiary

  • The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of INNOVA Gaming Group in connection with its response to an unsolicited take-over bid by Pollard Banknote and the ultimate sale of the company in a negotiated transaction

  • Advised the acquirer on its US$12.5-billion acquisition of a TSX- and NYSE-listed Canadian issuer in the quick-service restaurant business; the transaction created the third-largest quick-service restaurant company in the world with approximately US$23-billion in system sales and over 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries

  • Advised J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., financial adviser and soliciting dealer to Suncor Energy Inc., in connection with Suncor’s C$6.6-billion take-over bid for Canadian Oil Sands Limited

  • A 50% owner of a fuel distribution company in connection with the sale of the company for approximately C$378-million

  • One of Canada's largest TSX-listed gold mining companies in connection with a C$3.9-billion acquisition of a TSX-listed gold company and the formation of a 50-50 partnership with a co-acquirer; the transaction also resulted in a spin-out of a new TSX-listed company that continues to hold a 5% royalty interest in one of Canada's largest gold mining projects

  • Montclair Energy LLC in connection with its proposal to acquire Equal Energy Ltd., an oil and gas exploration and production company with assets principally located in Oklahoma and the ultimate sale of Equal Energy to PetroFlow Energy Corporation

  • Steelhead Partners, LLC in connection with the take-over bid for Fibrek Inc. by Resolute Forest Products Inc.

  • Qatar Holding LLC in connection with the acquisition of its interest in European Goldfields Limited and its agreement to finance the development of European Goldfields' Skouries and Olympias gold projects in Greece

  • GrowthWorks Ltd. in connection with the merger of GrowthWorks Canadian Fund Ltd. with the VenGrowth group of funds; the transaction represented the first hostile merger proposal in the labour-sponsored investment fund sector

  • An acquirer of an electric distribution business in northern Ontario

  • BCE Inc. and Bell Canada in connection with a proposed C$51.7-billion private acquisition of BCE by way of a plan of arrangement with a private equity group led by Teachers' Private Capital and Providence Equity Partners; successfully defended the transaction in related court proceedings brought by Bell Canada bondholders

Capital Markets

  • TAAL Distributed Information Technologies Inc. in connection with a C$40-million marketed public offering of units

  • Starlight Investments on the initial public offering of trust units of Northview Canadian High Yield Residential Fund for gross proceeds of C$430-million in November 2020 in connection with the going private transaction with Northview Apartment REIT by way of unitholder- and court-approved arrangement valued at C$4.8-billion

  • VN Capital Management on a C$75-million backstopped rights offering by Ceres Global Ag Corp., qualified by way of a short form prospectus filed in each of the provinces and territories of Canada

  • A company developing a potash mine in Utah in connection with its initial public offering on the TSX and in subsequent financing transactions

Shareholder Activism and Corporate Governance

  • H&R REIT in its negotiation with K2 & Associates regarding Board composition

  • Simpson Oil in connection with its investment in Parkland Corporation and the appointment of two nominees to Parkland’s Board of Directors

  • A shareholder of Bragg Gaming Group Inc. in connection with changes to the Board of Directors

  • Pronto Forms in connection with changes to its Board of Directors

  • Slate Office REIT in its proxy contest with G2S2

  • The independent directors of Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. on various matters

  • Mangrove Partners in connection with its investment in TransAlta Corporation

  • Porchlight Equity Management LLC in connection with a proxy fight for DavidsTEA Inc.

  • Pershing Square Capital Management in connection with its successful proxy contest to replace seven of 12 directors on the board of Canadian Pacific Railway Company

  • A major shareholder of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. on successfully defending against Icahn Partners LP's hostile bid and proxy contest for control of the company

  • The Special Committee of a TSX-listed mining company on its successful defence of a proxy contest for board control initiated by Clarke Inc.

  • TELUS Corp. on empty-­voting issues arising in connection with Mason Capital Managements opposition to TELUS's proposed collapse of its dual­-class share structure

  • Steelhead Partners, LLC in connection with a proxy contest to replace three of seven directors on the board of Gold Reserve Inc.

  • The Special Committee of Espial Group Inc. on successfully defending against a proxy contest brought by Vantage Asset Management Inc

  • CIBC World Markets, the financial advisers to the Special Committee of Magna International Inc., in connection with litigation before the Ontario Securities Commission and the Superior Court of Ontario arising from the elimination by Magna of its dual-class share structure and the creation by Magna of a single class of equity securities by way of a plan of arrangement

  • Steelhead Partners, LLC in connection with the take-over bid for Fibrek Inc. by Resolute Forest Products Inc.

  • VN Capital Management on its successful requisition of a shareholders meeting of Ceres Global Ag Corp. to terminate the company's external management contract

  • Scion Capital (Michael Bury) in connection with its opposition to the acquisition of Bolivar Gold Corporation by Gold Fields Limited

Awards & Recognition

Alex is recognized as a leading lawyer in the following publications:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2024 (Corporate/Commercial)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2024 (Corporate Governance Practice, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Mining Law, Securities Law)

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada 2024 (Corporate Finance & Securities, Mergers & Acquisitions)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2023 (Corporate Mid-Market, Corporate Commercial Law, Corporate Finance & Securities, Mergers & Acquisitions, Mining)

  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial and Corporate Law Firms 2023 (Mergers & Acquisitions)

  • Lexpert Special Edition: Mining 2023

  • Who's Who Legal: Global 2023 (Capital Markets – Debt & Equity)

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 2023 (Capital Markets, M&A)

  • The Legal 500 Canada (Corporate and M&A)

  • Lexpert Special Edition on Canada's Leading Corporate Lawyers

  • Lexpert Special Edition on Canada's Leading Energy Lawyers

  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada (Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Finance & Securities)

Professional Activities

Alex was recently named a fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel.

He has taught securities regulation at Western Law School and is an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he has taught the advanced business law workshop on mergers and acquisitions.

Alex is a frequent speaker and author on the topic of mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and shareholder activism.

Media Activities
  • Quoted : Canadian dealmaking seen rebounding in 2024, led by energy, mining
    Article by Maiya Keidan, Reuters, January 4, 2024.
  • Quoted : 'We're starting to see activity again': Legal dealmakers show measured optimism after slow 2022
    Article by Julius Melnitzer, Financial Post, February 6, 2023.
  • Quoted : Shareholder activism could rise as price volatility, ESG issues take centre stage: Blakes lawyer
    Article by Zena Olijnyk, Canadian Lawyer magazine, December 7, 2021.
Education

Admitted to the California Bar – 2001
Admitted to the Ontario Bar – 1998
LLB, University of Toronto – 1996
BSc (Hon.), Queen's University – 1993

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