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

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 … Continue reading

Corporate Divorce: An Analysis of Divestments and Lessons to Carry Forward

In the midst of these unprecedented times, many companies are looking to mergers and acquisitions to realize new growth opportunities and diversify; however, before heading down this road, one question needs to be asked: is it a marriage built to last or is it doomed from the start? A recent paper, which examined 1,365 M&A … Continue reading

MAC/MAE Clauses in the Context of COVID-19

A recent Ontario decision of Fairstone Financial Holdings Inc. v. Duo Bank of Canada (“Fairstone”) became the first Canadian case to consider material adverse change (“MAC”) or material adverse effect (“MAE”) clauses in the context of COVID-19.  In Fairstone, Duo Bank of Canada sought to invoke the MAC/MAE clause to exit the transaction but the … 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

Navigating through Uncertainty: The U.S. Election’s Effect on Canadian Markets

After a highly contested election that was observed all over the world, Joe Biden – the Democratic Party nominee –  was elected as the 46th President of the United States . Leading up to the election, North American markets continued to see weeks of stagnant trading as investors held back due to the prevailing uncertainty. … 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

Digital Taxation – Novel Considerations in M&A Transactions

Digital taxes have become a subject of significant debate in recent years. Following allegations that tech giants have paid very little tax anywhere in the world, some countries have moved to impose new taxes on profits derived from digital services provided by multinational enterprises on a jurisdiction-specific basis. For instance, France recently adopted a digital … Continue reading

Proposed Amendments to Ontario’s Business Corporations Act: Relaxed Corporate Governance Requirements May Make Ontario an Attractive Jurisdiction

On October 6, 2020, the Government of Ontario introduced Bill 213, Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2020 (“Bill 213”) to support the province’s economic recovery and reduce barriers to doing business in Ontario. If it passes, Bill 213 would bring important changes to the Ontario Business Corporations Act (“OBCA”) that, among other things, … Continue reading
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