The (Artificial) Intelligent Investor

Investor advice platforms, at both the retail and institutional level, have evolved in recent years – from the use of classic literature to expanded services offered by brick-and-mortar firms. However, with the growth of app-induced innovation, various robo-advising platforms have taken the lead in providing investors with seamless, efficient, and cost-effective means of advice.

We previously addressed how M&A transactions may occur with fintech companies and traditional banks. However, in this post, we will explore how Canada’s fintech sectors have expanded in recent years and key considerations for wealth management firms looking to acquire or sell certain platforms.

What is

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Successful Mini-Tenders

While controversial, mini-tenders are permitted in the Canadian markets. This blog provides a brief overview of mini-tenders and summarizes two recent examples, which demonstrate the considerations surrounding whether or not a mini-tender will succeed.

What is a mini-tender?

A mini-tender is an unsolicited and widely disseminated offer to purchase less than 20% of the outstanding voting or equity shares of a public company. It is not subject to the disclosure and procedural protections of formal take-over bid regulation. In Canada, mini-tenders are generally made for significantly less than 20% of outstanding shares at a substantial discount to market. The Canadian … Continue Reading

Full Speed Ahead: Post-Pandemic Trends in M&A

After a nine-year low in 2020, M&A activity in Canada made a strong rebound in the first quarter of 2021. As reported by BNN Bloomberg, in the first three months of 2021, Canadian companies were involved in 1,168 deals that together totalled US $115 billion in value, dwarfing the US $44.3 billion in deal value during the same period in 2020. The Financial Post reports that a similar phenomenon is occurring globally, with the number of deals up 6% and the total value of pending and completed deals up 93% as compared to the first quarter of 2020.

With … Continue Reading

Funding M&A Deals with Bitcoin

As Bitcoin gains increasing traction since its inception 11 years ago, we begin to question whether it will slowly replace traditional dollar funding in M&A deals. Whether Bitcoin will be used to fund large M&A deals will likely depend on its ability to stabilize in value.

One of the most common concerns of using Bitcoin as a source of deal funding is its propensity to fluctuate in value. Over the past five years, Bitcoin prices have fluctuated from CAD $500 to CAD $72,000, sometimes even dropping as much as 50% over the course of a single day. This price … Continue Reading

Transforming Adversity into Opportunity: The Need for New Technologies Fuels Insurance M&A

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way in which we interact with the world. From working, to shopping, to socializing, most aspects of our daily lives have moved to the online world. Consumers now expect effective online platforms for all goods and services, and businesses have been forced to adapt quickly.

The need for robust online technologies drove a number of large M&A transactions for enterprise technologies in 2020. While insurance companies have struggled throughout the pandemic, with share prices collapsing due to a rise in insolvencies, new technologies have the potential to transform the industry, driving a flurry of … Continue Reading

Visiting the Doctor in a Virtual World Provides Business Opportunities in Telehealth

It is no secret that during 2020 and into 2021 the COVID-19 pandemic has created massive disruptions for a variety of industries. One such example is the movement of health care services online in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. A wide variety of technology and applications to facilitate this, referred to as telehealth or telemedicine technology, are gaining momentum. This technological shift in health care has resulted in a boom of the telehealth industry and offers the possibility of sustainable growth opportunities for companies in 2021 and farther into the future.

What is telehealth technology?

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Earn-outs and reverse earn-outs

In May, we wrote about the increased focus on earn-out provisions during the pandemic as a method to mitigate the risk of a target’s post-closing under-performance and to bridge any valuation gap between the purchaser and seller. More recently, we discussed post-closing balance sheet adjustments as a separate tool to address the same risk. In this article, we will focus on (i) reverse earn-out provisions and (ii) a review of the use of earn-outs in 2020 M&A deals.

Earn-out vs. Reverse Earn-out

As described in more detail in our May post, a ‘classic earn-out’ refers to a post-closing increase … Continue Reading

Lower 2021 thresholds announced for merger reviews under Competition Act and Investment Canada Act

The threshold for certain pre-closing net benefit reviews under the Investment Canada Act (ICA) and the threshold for a pre-closing merger notification under the Competition Act have now both been released for 2021. Thresholds under both statutes decreased slightly, meaning more transactions may be reviewable or notifiable, respectively, than in 2020.

Competition Act

Canada uses a two-part test for determining whether a pre-merger notification is necessary. The two-part test is based on the size of the parties and the size of the transaction. The transaction size component can be adjusted annually for inflation. Under the size of the parties test, … Continue Reading

“To the Moon”: The Rise of the Retail Investor and What this Means for Dealmakers

Retail investors are becoming an increasingly significant source of capital on public markets, and dealmakers should be aware of how this development can impact M&A transactions and the decision to go public. After the latest garnering of widespread attention in the news, the retail investment community has been estimated to constitute as much as 25% of total stock market activity. This increase can be at least partly attributed to the development of 0% commission trading mobile applications as well as the extra time retail investors have to develop their own personal trading strategies due to COVID-19 social restrictions. Not … Continue Reading

A Slow Burn: The Cannabis Sector May be Ready for Market Consolidation

The first half of 2020 saw a significant decline in M&A activity as capital markets were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the second half of the year saw a surge in M&A activity that is expected to continue into 2021. One industry that may be particularly well primed for M&A activity in 2021 is the cannabis industry, where market consolidation is already underway.

Predictions of market consolidation in the cannabis industry are hardly novel. Even prior to the legalization of cannabis in Canada, research by Ernst & Young indicated that industry executives believed that consolidation was inevitable and would … Continue Reading

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