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Privacy and Cybersecurity Due Diligence Considerations in M&A Transactions

Privacy and cybersecurity practices of target companies are being increasingly scrutinized throughout the due diligence process in M&A transactions. Particularly, buyers want to understand the risk and value inherent in sellers’ data assets and sellers want to manage transactional and post-closing risks. In the course of their privacy and cybersecurity due diligence, buyers should consider … Continue reading

Navigating the Due Diligence Process for Artificial Intelligence Transactions

In recent years, an increasing number of companies have started to employ artificial intelligence (“AI”) technologies in the development of their products and in their day-to-day business. This shift to utilizing AI can be very advantageous given its far-reaching potential impact; however, with fast-paced growth comes complex questions, novel issues and increased uncertainty. Accordingly, in … Continue reading

Promouvoir la rétention des employés clés d’une entreprise dans le cadre d’une transaction

La rétention de la main-d’œuvre clé représente plus que jamais un enjeu d’envergure pour les sociétés. Le caractère intuitu personae du contrat d’emploi participe à cet enjeu puisque, considérant la nature et l’aspect personnel de ce type de contrat, il est impossible de forcer un employé à demeurer à l’emploi d’une entreprise et tout changement … Continue reading

Cross-border Deal Structures in the Cannabis Sector

Cannabis-related cross-border transactions have become more creative since the initial wave of transactions that occurred post-legalization in Canada. Changes in the US federal law enforcement policy, coupled with the Toronto Stock Exchange (the TSX) and the TSX Venture Exchange (the TSXV) clarifying their positions on listed issuers that are involved in marijuana-related activities in the … Continue reading

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 … 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 … 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 … 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 … 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% … Continue reading

Does board diversity lead to better M&A outcomes?

Board diversity has been at the forefront of the Canadian governance landscape for a number of years, and has recently been the subject of increased stakeholder focus. While gender and racial parity are ends in themselves, recent research shows that board diversity may be particularly beneficial in the M&A context. The current state of affairs … Continue reading

Goodwill Hunting: The Value, Protections and Role of Intangible Assets in M&A Transactions

We have previously discussed goodwill as a distinct asset in purchase agreements.  In this post, we explore the growing value of goodwill and other intangible assets in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and the legal issues parties should consider when seeking to value, protect and exploit these assets. Intangible assets are often the most significant portion … Continue reading

The Dynamic Duo: Cyber-security and Due Diligence during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (“pandemic”) continues to highlight the several ways in which M&A transactions have had to adapt to changing times, particularly by ramping up cyber-security measures in a digital world. Prior to the pandemic, there already existed a shift towards cyber-security due diligence since many businesses relied on digital assets. … Continue reading

Shareholder Loans: The Interplay of 80.4, 15(2) and 20(1)(j) of the Income Tax Act

Subject to certain exceptions, where a shareholder (other than a corporation resident in Canada) of a corporation is indebted to the corporation (a “Shareholder Loan”), the shareholder is deemed by subsection 80.4(2) to receive an interest benefit to the extent that the notional interest on the Shareholder Loan, calculated at the prescribed rate, exceeds the … Continue reading

The Smart Choice: A Predictive View in Revamping M&A Contracts

The current pandemic presents a unique opportunity to revitalize traditional M&A process and provisions. While we have previously addressed how traditional M&A provisions are impacted by the pandemic, this blog post will explore the key opportunity industries and corporations alike have in improving contractual processes. Specifically, through the use of blockchain technology and smart contracts. … Continue reading

M&A Opportunities in the COVID-19 Digital Transformation

While the COVID-19 pandemic initially had a general chilling effect on merger and acquisition (“M&A”) activity, we have seen an increase in M&A activity recently, particularly as industries rapidly adapt to the new environment and consider opportunities. Both consumer preferences and business models have been forced to change quickly due to the circumstances of the … Continue reading

Representations and Warranties Insurance and COVID-19 Considerations

The use of representations and warranties insurance (RWI) has grown dramatically in recent years as buyers (and to a lesser extent, sellers) have increasingly relied on RWI to allocate risks and provide other benefits in M&A transactions. The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts have led to significant uncertainty for buyers, as well as for … Continue reading

Determining fair value in appraisal proceedings: the Supreme Court of Canada dismisses application for leave to appeal in Carlock v ExxonMobil Canada Holdings ULC

On August 13, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada (the SCC) dismissed the application for leave to appeal in the case of Carlock v ExxonMobil Canada Holdings ULC (Carlock), indicating that the negotiated deal price in a transaction between well-informed, sophisticated, arms-length parties that is the result of a vigorous sale process provides strong objective … Continue reading

M&A in the Consumer & Retail Sector: Before and After the Pandemic

This article will provide a high level discussion of M&A trends in the Consumer & Retail (C&R) sector, beginning with a brief summary of the activity we saw in 2019, what trends were anticipated to occur in 2020 and how the COVID-19 pandemic (the Pandemic) is expected to affect M&A in this industry. Pre-Pandemic Trends … Continue reading

The SPAC is back: going public in a pandemic

According to Axios, the first half of 2020 saw special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs” for short) in the U.S. raise over US$20 billion, easily eclipsing the US$13.3 billion raised in all of 2019. A SPAC is a special purpose vehicle that does not have any assets or operations, but exists solely for the purpose of … Continue reading

COVID-19 Series: Considerations and Modifications of Certain Provisions in M&A Agreements (Valuation and Post-Closing Pricing Mechanisms)

In recognition that businesses are adjusting to their “new normal” and some companies are exploring acquisitions or divestitures as opportunities to strengthen their bottom line, we will be publishing a series of blogs aimed at highlighting some of the considerations and key drafting areas in a purchase and sale agreement that parties to Canadian private … Continue reading

Fintech M&A Activity in 2020: The Digital Economy is Here

Paying for Payments While uncertainty arising from the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down most deal activity, Fintech, in particular the payments space, is a big exception. Recent analysis from KPMG revealed that UK payment deals in the first quarter of 2020 alone exceeded the total number of deals in 2019. Granted, deal sizes were relatively … Continue reading

Diamond In The Rough: Mining as a potential bright spot in M&A

The mining sector has been one of the few bright spots in Canadian M&A since the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the landscape for transactions, with several large deals announced and continuing despite the pandemic. As with other business sectors, mining has been significantly impacted by regulations and the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. However … Continue reading

Purchasing Companies That Sell Technology to the Government: The Details Matter

Procurement contracts are increasingly used in both Canada and the United States (US), particularly with respect to technological services. Federal procurement expenditures for Canada amount to an average of CAD $22 billion in goods and services annually. Further, the US typically awards USD $500 billion in contracts annually, with Canadian companies actively participating in that … Continue reading
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