Bottles of Coca-Cola are seen at the Swire Coca-Cola facility in Draper, Utah March 9, 2011. REUTERS/George Frey

Joint venture to acquire Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada

Coca-Cola Co earlier this month agreed in a non-binding letter of intent to sell its Canadian bottling and distribution business to a joint venture of Larry Tanenbaum, head of Kilmer Group, a Canadian family office, and Junior Bridgeman. No financial terms were released; however, the Globe and Mail reported the value to be about $800 million. The letter of intent, which is subject to the parties reaching a definitive agreement, is expected to result in a deal closed later in 2018. Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada operates five production facilities and over 50 sales and distribution centres. Its sale will wrap up Coca-Cola’s refranchising of North American bottling operations.

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ARC’s STEP Energy raises $56 mln for Tucker Energy buy

Calgary-based oilfield service company STEP Energy Services Ltd (TSX: STEP) has closed a bought-deal equity financing, raising proceeds of about $56.3 million. The company plans to use the funds raised for its proposed acquisition of Tucker Energy Services Holdings Inc, a U.S. provider of fracturing and completion solutions. The deal, announced last month, has a total cash consideration of about $350 million (US$275 million). STEP is a portfolio company of Canadian energy private equity firm ARC Financial Corp.

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PE-backed Alithya to merge with Edgewater Technology

Montréal-based Alithya Group Inc has agreed to merge with U.S.-based Edgewater Technology Inc (Nasdaq: EDGW) to create a new North American digital technology consulting business. The new entity, expected to list in Canada and the United States, will emerge from a shares exchange under the name Alithya and led by Alithya CEO Paul Raymond. With the deal’s close, expected in Q3 2018, Alithya investors will hold about 58 percent of the new company’s outstanding shares and Edgewater investors will hold the rest. Alithya’s backers include Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins, Fonds de solidarité FTQIQTelus Ventures and iA Financial Group.

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Ontario Teachers’ taps Ben Chan to lead Asia Pacific deals

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has appointed Datuk Ben Chan to the role of regional managing director, Asia Pacific, effective June 1st. Operating from Hong Kong, Chan will lead Ontario Teachers’ investment activity in the Asia-Pacific region and support portfolio companies located there. He joins the Canadian pension fund from Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia, where he served as executive director, investments, as well as co-head of investments, and led deal-making in China.

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Secure Exchanges closes inaugural round with Anges Québec

Secure Exchanges, a Drummondville, Québec-based e-mail security platform, has closed its first round of financing. No financial terms were disclosed. The deal was led by Patrick d’Astous on behalf of members of Anges Québec. Founded in 2013 by Cédric Boivin, the startup’s CEO, and Hughes Boivin, Secure Exchanges’ technology ensures the privacy and security of an e-mail without reliance on a third-party application. The funds raised will be used by the company to complete proof of concept, enhance the solution, and commercialize it for mid-sized and large businesses in the insurance, legal and accounting industries.

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Comvest supplies $30 mln facility to Merchant Advance Capital

Merchant Advance Capital, a Vancouver-based online small business finance firm, has closed a $30 million delayed draw term loan facility. The source of the funding was Comvest Credit Partners, the credit affiliate of Comvest Partners, a U.S. private equity and debt firm. The loan facility will be used by Merchant to refinance existing debt and for growth capital. Founded in 2010 by President and CEO David Gens, Merchant utilizes technology and data science to reduce risk and offer lower fees and flexible repayment schedules to small and medium-sized companies in Canada.

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Brookfield closes $1.3 bln sale of Chilean transmission business

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners has closed its sale of a 27.8 percent stake in ETC Transmission Holdings SL, the parent company of Transelec SA, a Chilean power transmission business. The deal, announced late last year, was valued at US$1.3 billion. The buyer was Chinese state-owned China Southern Power Grid International (HK) Co Ltd. Based in Santiago, Transelec is Chile’s largest power transmission operation, with more than 10,000 kilometres of electricity lines serving about 98 percent of the population. Brookfield Infrastructure was part of a group that acquired Transelec in 2006.

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Hootsuite secures $65 mln in growth funding from CIBC

Hootsuite has secured about $65 million (US$50 million) in growth funding via a credit financing agreement with CIBC Innovation Banking. Hootsuite, a Vancouver-based social media management platform, said the additional capital will help the company to continue to expand in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and Latin America, and enhance its offering for such key industries as financial services, government and healthcare. Founded in 2008 by CEO Ryan Holmes, Hootsuite reports having more than 16 million customers, including most of the Fortune 1000. CIBC Innovation Banking launched in January with the bank’s buy of the assets of Canadian specialty finance firm Wellington Financial.

Whitney Rockley, Scott MacDonald, McRock Capital, venture capital, Canada

Need to meet: Whitney Rockley, managing partner, McRock Capital

Whitney Rockley is that rare individual in Canada’s venture market: a female investment pro of more than two decades experience, 16 of those years spent in senior roles in VC firms on both sides of the Atlantic. She also happens to be the first woman chair of the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association. And her […]

Whitney Rockley, Scott MacDonald, McRock Capital, venture capital, Canada

Need to meet: Whitney Rockley, managing partner, McRock Capital

Whitney Rockley is that rare individual in Canada’s venture market: a female investment pro of more than two decades experience, 16 of those years spent in senior roles in VC firms on both sides of the Atlantic. She also happens to be the first woman chair of the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association. And her current position may be the most important of her career: managing partner of McRock Capital, a Toronto firm she co-founded with Scott MacDonald in 2012.

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Todd Korol

Crown-backed Marquee to explore strategic options

Calgary junior energy company Marquee Energy Ltd (TSX-V: MQX) said it has begun a review of strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value. The company, focused on light oil development and production in the Michichi area of Alberta, said the alternatives may include a sale of all or a portion of its assets, a business combination, a royalty, a joint venture, strategic investment or other deal. Marquee has engaged GMP Securities LP as a financial advisor to support the review. Last year, Marquee secured a $30 million special situations term loan from Crown Capital Partners.

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Construction app Harbr seeded with $1.75 mln by VCs, angels

Halifax-based construction app Harbr has raised $1.75 million in a seed-stage financing. The round was backed by a mix of angel and venture capital investors, including Jevon MacDonald, George Armoyan, Frank Sobey, John Risley, Mark Dobbin of Killick Capital, David Dufresne of Panache Ventures, Gavin Uhma, Don Clow, Jim Spatz, Dan Flaminio, Wade Dawe, Joe Fiander, Victor Kielbratowski and Innovacorp. Founded in 2016, Harbr’s technology manages construction scheduling data to create insights, analytics and predictions for project managers and owners. It said the deal gives Harbr access to key North American markets.

Bitcoins are seen in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2017.  REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

OMERS Ventures leads $5 mln Series A financing of OB1

OB1, the company behind decentralized marketplace OpenBazaar, has raised US$5 million in a Series A financing. OMERS Ventures, the venture investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, led the round. Chinese bitcoin miner Bitmain Technologies Ltd also backed the financing, joining the company’s existing investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and BlueYard Capital. Launched in 2015, New York-based OB1 is developing technologies that help give users more control over their online trade, including making purchases with digital currencies.

Copyright 2017 ITH Mines

ITH Mines raises $15.5 mln in financing, Electrum invests

Vancouver mining company International Tower Hill Mines Ltd (TSX: ITH) has closed a private placement deal, generating about $15.5 million (US$12 million) in proceeds. A fund managed by U.S. resources investment firm Electrum Group, a new shareholder of ITH, backed the deal alongside Paulson & Co, a U.S. hedge fund manager. Paulson & Co will as a result increase its ITH ownership stake to 32 percent of issued and outstanding shares, while Electrum will hold 10.7 percent. The company said it will use the proceeds for studies related to its Livengood Gold Project in Alaska and other priorities.

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Conexiom wins growth investment from Luminate Capital

Conexiom, a Vancouver-based provider of document automation software solutions, has secured an investment from Luminate Capital Partners, a U.S. enterprise software private equity firm. No financial terms were released. As a result, Luminate’s Hollie Haynes, Mark Pierce, Scott Kingsfield, David Ulrich and Sanjay Palakshappa will join the board. Founded in 2001, Conexiom’s cloud-based technology automates the processing of purchase orders, supplier invoices and other key business documents. President and CEO Brent Halverson said the deal will help Conexiom continue to grow in manufacturing and distribution, expand geographically, and enter new verticals.

© 2018 SVB Financial Group. All rights reserved.

Silicon Valley Bank expands into Canada, hires Barbara Dirks

U.S. technology debt financing firm Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has expanded into Canada, securing a federal order establishing it as a lending branch. The Santa Clara, California-based firm will begin operations following the approval of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. SVB said it hired Barbara Dirks to lead its Canadian expansion and team. Dirks joins the firm from Royal Bank of Canada, where she served as a senior vice president of network and advisor strategy. SVB, a part of SVB Financial Group (Nasdaq: SIVB), will provide banking solutions to private and public technology companies and their investors in Canada, as well as cross-border services.

© Copyright 2018 Northern Vertex Mining Corp.

Sprott commits $100 mln in funding to Northern Vertex

Canadian mining company Northern Vertex Mining Corp (TSX-V: NEE) has secured a commitment of up to US$100 million for acquisition and development initiatives from the private resource lending fund of Sprott Resource Lending Corp. The deal is in addition to a US$20 million senior secured credit facility provided by Sprott last year for the company’s Moss Mine gold-silver project in Arizona, which recently saw its first gold pour. Vancouver-based Northern Vertex in 2017 also closed a US$20 million private placement deal with Greenstone Resources, giving the U.K. metals and mining private equity firm an initial 30.2 percent stake.

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PSP Investments invests in Learning Care Group

Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) has made a “significant” equity investment in Learning Care Group (US) Inc, a Novi, Michigan-based provider of care and education of children between the ages of six weeks and 12 years. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which will see the Canadian pension fund investing alongside majority shareholder American Securities, a U.S. private equity firm. American Securities first invested in the company in 2014. PSP Investments Head of Private Equity Simon Marc said Learning Care Group is “uniquely positioned to further capture growth in the early childhood education market.”