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insight and perspectives on developments in mergers + acquisitions

Category Archives: Antitrust, competition and regulatory

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Havenly acquisitions: tax inversions may contribute to M&A activity

2014 is increasingly looking like a celebratory year in Canadian M&A. Despite a mild downturn in Canadian M&A deal flow in 2013, a steady increase in high-profile transactions in 2014 suggests that M&A activity continues to gain momentum, particularly in the retail and consumer product industries. The Canadian M&A market experienced a very strong second … Continue Reading

Seminar: Norton Rose Fulbright’s 7th Annual Mergers & Acquisitions School

On Wednesday, September 10, 2014 to Wednesday, October 22, 2014 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm (US/Central), Norton Rose Fulbright  will be presenting its 7th Annual Mergers & Acquisitions School for corporate, in-house legal, investment banking and private equity professionals in Houston, Texas. This comprehensive program is designed for participants that desire to develop a … Continue Reading

Hidden dangers in M&A: bribery and corruption

Embarking on an international M&A transaction can be an exhilarating time for any company, although there are a host of business and legal issues involved in choosing an appropriate target. One issue that often gets overlooked is the target company’s anti-corruption and bribery practices. As Canadian companies continue to grab up international market space, they … Continue Reading

Bureau allows Reynolds to acquire Novelis’ North American foil business

On November 15, 2013, Reynolds Consumer Products, Inc. (Reynolds) agreed to acquire the North American division of  Novelis Foil Products for $35 million. Six months later, on May 26, 2014, the Competition Bureau (Bureau) allowed the acquisition by issuing a No Action Letter to Reynolds and announcing that the merger would be unlikely to cause … Continue Reading

Cross-border lumber deal felled by Competition concerns

Tennessee-based Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP) recently abandoned its proposed acquisition of Canadian competitor Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. (Ainsworth). The decision came several days after an announcement by U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and an announcement by the Canadian Competition Bureau (Bureau) that they each considered the transaction would likely substantially lessen competition of the sale of … Continue Reading

Canada’s Competition Bureau requires divestitures and limits on supplier contracts in clearing Loblaw-Shoppers merger

This blog post was written by Bradley Schneider, an Associate in Norton Rose Fulbright’s Calgary office. Approximately eight months after the announcement of Loblaw Companies Limited’s proposed acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation, the Competition Bureau (Bureau) concluded its review and reached a consent agreement with Loblaw to resolve certain concerns over the potential anti-competitive … Continue Reading

New merger review thresholds for Competition Act and Investment Canada Act

The threshold for a pre-closing net benefit review under the Investment Canada Act and the threshold for a pre-closing merger notification under the Competition Act have been increased for 2014. Investment Canada Act The direct acquisition of control of a Canadian business by a non-Canadian from a WTO-member country is subject to pre-closing review and … Continue Reading

Seminar – FCPA and M&A: how to get your target acquisition ready

On Wednesday, January 22, 2014 to Thursday, January 23, 2014, the American Conference Institute will be hosting Houston’s 8th annual FCPA Boot Camp. This comprehensive two-day forum will address the key issues on, and offer practical solutions to ensure your organization is prepared for and compliant with, the latest FCPA developments. Marsha Z. Gerber, a … Continue Reading

Canada’s anti-corruption regime: implications for corporate governance practices

Legislative amendments and increasingly rigorous enforcement practices under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (“CFPOA” or “the Act”) mark the robust developments taking place in Canada’s anti-corruption regime. Changes to the law and the enforcement thereof carry significant implications for companies and their corporate governance practices. The CFPOA sets out as a criminal offence … Continue Reading

Webinar – M&A in 2013: Acquisition techniques – mergers versus tender offers

Join us on Thursday, November 14, 2013 for a webinar on M&A acquisition techniques. Register now In this web seminar, three partners at Norton Rose Fulbright, all highly experienced in a broad range of transactions, will discuss the various considerations in choosing between a one-step merger, for example, versus a two-step tender offer followed by … Continue Reading

Antitrust-approval risks: issues and pitfalls in international M&A agreements

Obtaining antitrust approvals is a key part of the overall transaction process for many M&A transactions. Currently, there are over 100 national and regional antitrust regimes, with new regimes being introduced and existing regimes extended on a regular basis. Recognizing the growing complexity of the antitrust approval process, merging parties and their counsel increasingly seek … Continue Reading

CETA may be good for business in M&A

Earlier this month, Canada and the European Union unveiled the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a trade initiative designed to benefit Canadians — from individual workers and consumers to large scale corporations — by way of eliminating tariffs for Canadian goods entering the EU market and facilitating secure and preferential market access by Canadian … Continue Reading

Global perspective on competition and antitrust issues

The latest edition of Norton Rose Fulbright’s Competition World is now available. This award-winning quarterly publication provides a global survey of recent competition and antitrust law developments in a practical and accessible format. Of particular relevance in this edition is an overview of bid-rigging, which is a criminal offence in Canada and in many other … Continue Reading

Canada blocks telecom deal for national security reasons

The Canadian government has used the Investment Canada Act to block the proposed acquisition of the Allstream division of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. by Accelero Capital Holdings for national security reasons.  On October 7, 2013, the Minister of Industry, James Moore, issued a brief statement in which he noted: MTS Allstream operates a national fibre optic network that provides critical telecommunications … Continue Reading

Doing business in Canada – Competition and foreign investment laws

The federal Competition Act sets out a framework to promote and maintain fair competition and applies to Canadians and non-Canadians alike. The chapter on Competition and Foreign Investment Laws (pdf 186kb) in our guide to Doing business in Canada addresses sections of the Competition Act relevant to an acquirer of an existing Canadian business, and also speaks … Continue Reading

Webinar – M&A in 2013: FCPA successor liability issues

Join us on Thursday, September 19, 2013, for a webinar on FCPA successor liability issues. This program will provide an inside look at recent FCPA enforcement trends of the DOJ and SEC in connection with successor liability, including guidance the enforcement agencies have provided regarding M&A due diligence and current industry specific focus areas. Register now … Continue Reading

Investment Canada Act amendments raise questions for state-owned enterprises

Following its approval in December 2012 of two high-profile transactions involving foreign state-owned enterprises acquiring Canadian businesses, the Canadian government announced new policies that would guide the minister of industry in applying the Investment Canada Act (ICA) to subsequent similar transactions.  On April 29, 2013, the government introduced its budget implementation bill, Bill C-60, which … Continue Reading

Federal Court of Appeal endorses projecting future events in upholding Canadian Competition Tribunal decision

On February 11, 2013, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) released its reasons in Commissioner of Competition v Tervita Corporation, an appeal of the Competition Tribunal’s (the Tribunal) 2012 divestiture order against Tervita. The case is important because it marks the first time the commissioner of competition has successfully challenged a merger based on a … Continue Reading

New Merger Review Thresholds for Competition Act and Investment Canada Act

The threshold for a pre-closing net benefit review under the Investment Canada Act and the threshold for a pre-closing merger notification under the Competition Act have been increased for 2013. Investment Canada Act:  the direct acquisition of control of a Canadian business by a non-Canadian from a WTO-member country is subject to pre-closing review and … Continue Reading

Navigating the new Investment Canada rules for state-owned enterprises

On December 7, 2012, the Canadian government approved two proposed investments in Canadian energy companies by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under the Investment Canada Act (ICA): the proposed acquisition by PETRONAS of Progress Energy Resources Corp. (Progress) and the proposed acquisition of Nexen Inc. (Nexen) by China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC). Norton Rose Canada represented … Continue Reading

Mandatory Jail Time for Certain Competition Act Offences Now in Effect

Effective today, an individual convicted of certain violations of the Competition Act (Canada) may be punished with prison time instead of community service. These offences include price-fixing, bid-rigging and misleading advertising. For more information please see Norton Rose’s Legal Update on the topic prepared by our colleague Stephen Nattrass  here. Merging parties should take note of these amendments because … Continue Reading