BDC Capital invests $180 mln-plus in business transition deals

BDC Capital‘s Growth & Transition Capital said it has invested more than $180 million in business change-of-ownership deals since December 2017. The activity is part of BDC’s commitment to invest $900 million in Canadian business transition and acquisition strategies over five years. Companies recently backed include BID Group, David Aplin GroupDeslaurier Custom Cabinets, Industries Polykar, Kendrick Equipment and Sancton. PE Hub Canada reported on the 2017 deal involving BID, a Prince George, British Columbia-based turnkey supplier to the forest products industry, led by Highland West Capital and joined by BDC and other investors.

Insurtech platform Finaeo nabs $5.35 mln in Luge-led round

Toronto-based insurance technology provider Finaeo has raised $5.35 million in a seed-stage financing. Luge Capital, a Canadian fintech venture capital firm, led the round. It was joined by RGAX, an affiliate of U.S. life reinsurance company RGARising Tide Ventures, Inovia Capital and angels led by AngelList Partner Alex Norman. Backers of Finaeo’s $2.25 million round two years ago, including Impression Ventures and iGan Partners, also invested. Founded in 2016 and led by CEO Aly Dhalla, Finaeo offers a digital platform of automated tools and concierge support that allows insurance advisors to shorten the “prospect-to-policy” timeline. It will use the funds raised for product development, customer acquisition and growth.

Gerry Schwartz, Heather Reisman give $100 mln to U of T tech centre

Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman have given $100 million to the University of Toronto (U of T) to create a complex anchoring a cluster of artificial intelligence, biomedical and other technology researchers. The soon-to-be-built 750,000-square-foot Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre will also support U of T’s entrepreneurship network and student and faculty-led startups. U of T said the donation is the largest in its history and for Canada’s innovation sector. Schwartz is the founder, chair, and CEO of Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp. Reisman is the founder, chair and CEO of Canadian book retailer Indigo.

J.C. Flowers and Värde-backed Fairstone closes $322 mln ABS deal

Canadian non-bank lender Fairstone Financial Inc has closed an inaugural asset-backed security (ABS) transaction totalling $322.4 million. Fairstone said the deals marks the first personal loan ABS transaction in Canada and “signals the creation of a new asset class” in the market. Based in Montréal, Fairstone provides lending solutions to near-prime and non-prime borrowers. Formerly CitiFinancial Canada, the company was acquired in 2016 from Citigroup Inc by a consortium led by U.S. private equity firms J.C. Flowers and Värde Partners.

Dubin Clark-owned USSC acquires Child Check-Mate System

USSC Group has acquired Child Check-Mate System Inc (CCM), an Ottawa-based school bus safety technology company. Terms weren’t disclosed. Founded in 1993 by President Gordon Both, CCM provides an alarm system that reminds drivers to ensure children have safely disembarked. It works with more than 500 school districts and its products are installed in over 400,000 commercial vehicles. USSC, an Exton, Pennsylvania-based maker of extreme-duty safety and survivability solutions, said it will implement the technology across a range of commercial transportation markets. USSC was acquired in 2015 by U.S. private equity firm Dubin Clark & Co.

Innergex to sell Icelandic assets to Macquarie for $409 mln

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc (TSX: INE) has agreed to sell Magma Energy Sweden AB, holder of a 53.9 percent interest in Icelandic geothermal operator HS Orka hf, for $408.8 million. The buyer is a European fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, the infrastructure and real assets arm of Australia’s  Macquarie Group. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter. HS Orka owns two operating geothermal facilities totalling 174 megawatts. Based in Longueuil, Québec, Innergex is a developer, acquirer and operator of hydroelectric facilities, wind farms, solar farms and geothermal power generation plants.

Dane Creek Capital acquires RawPaw Natural Foods

Dane Creek Capital Corp has acquired RawPaw Natural Foods, a Dorval, Québec-based distributor and marketer of natural pet health supplements. No financial terms were disclosed for the cash-and-stock deal. Founded in 2012 by President Farah Socran, RawPaw sells supplements designed for a raw pet food diet to specialty retailers across Canada. Dane Creek, a Canadian pet-focused merchant bank, will hold RawPaw through its pet supplements holding vehicle, United Supplements Inc. The RawPaw deal follows Dane Creek’s recent acquisition of Bonnie & Clyde Premium Pet Goods.

Pure Alumina to buy VC-backed Polar Sapphire for $26 mln

Pure Alumina Ltd has agreed to acquire Polar Sapphire Ltd, a Toronto-based maker of high-purity alumina (HPA), according to a statement by the Australian company. Pure agreed to pay $25.75 million in cash and stock to Polar’s private investors, which include ArcTern VenturesCrux Capital Corp and MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund. Upon completion, three Polar representatives, including Founder and CEO Scott Nichol and ArcTern Managing Partner Tom Rand, will join Pure’s six-member board. Founded in 2013, Polar’s low-cost HPA product is used in LED lighting, lithium batteries for electric vehicles, and other applications.

OPTrust-backed Kineticor buys cogeneration facility for $85 mln

Kineticor Resource Corp has acquired a 32 megawatt cogeneration facility from Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Ltd, a Calgary-based provider of midstream energy solutions. Kineticor, a Calgary-based power developer focused on thermal generation, paid $85 million in cash for the facility, which is under construction. Kineticor agreed to supply power and heat to Tidewater’s Pipestone Gas Plant once construction is complete. Kineticor is backed by Canadian pension fund manager OPTrust. OPTrust invested $125 million in the business in 2017. Tidewater is a portfolio company of Canadian private equity firm Birch Hill Equity Partners. Birch Hill increased its stake last year as a result of asset purchases from AltaGas Ltd.

Onex to acquire wealth manager Gluskin Sheff for $445 mln

Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp has agreed to acquire 100 percent of Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc (TSX: GS), a Toronto-based wealth management firm. The deal, expected to close in H1 2019, will see Onex pay about $14.25 per share for the company, for a total cash consideration of about $445 million. Established in 1984 by Ira Gluskin and Gerald Sheff, Gluskin Sheff will continue to be led by existing management and operate under its brand. Onex Chairman and CEO Gerry Schwartz said the combination of his firm’s private equity and private debt platforms and Gluskin Sheff’s public securities investing platforms will provide clients of both with “greater investment options.”

OMERS Ventures heads to Europe with $342 mln fund, hires Harry Briggs

OMERS Ventures has taken another step in its plan to create a global platform, launching a €300 million ($342 million) fund to invest in European startups. Capitalized by OV’s parent organization, OMERS, a C$97 billion ($73 billion) Canadian pension fund, the fund will make life-cycle investments in companies in key European tech hubs, Head of Ventures […]


OMERS Ventures heads to Europe with $456 mln fund, hires Harry Briggs

OMERS Ventures has taken another step in its plan to create a global platform, launching a €300 million ($456 million) fund to invest in European startups. Capitalized by OV’s parent organization, OMERS, the fund will make life-cycle investments in companies in key European tech hubs, Head of Ventures Damien Steel told PE Hub Canada. To manage the London-based fund, OV is assembling a team of investment pros reflecting a mix of VC and operational skills, Steel said. They include Harry Briggs, formerly a senior investment pro with European venture firms BGF Ventures and Balderton Capital, who joined late last year as a managing partner.

Fiera Capital to acquire Integrated Asset Management

Fiera Capital Corp (TSX: FSZ) has agreed to acquire Integrated Asset Management Corp (TSX: IAM), a Toronto-based alternative asset manager and investor in private debt, infrastructure debt and real estate. The deal, expected to close in Q2 2019, is valued at $74 million, representing an IAM enterprise value of $64 million and $10 million of cash on hand. IAM’s private debt investment team will merge with Fiera Private Lending and the industrial real estate team will join Fiera Properties. Fiera, a $136.7 billion asset manager based in Montréal, said the acquisition will augment its private alternative investments platform and create a pan-Canadian private lending capability.

CC&L Infrastructure, Desjardins acquire Regional Power

Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure (CC&L Infrastructure) and affiliates of Desjardins Group have acquired Regional Power Inc, a Mississauga, Ontario-based developer and operator of hydroelectric power plants. No financial terms were disclosed. The seller was Manulife Financial Corp. Regional Power’s Canadian assets include three run-of-river hydroelectric projects with an installed capacity of about 70 megawatts and a pipeline of wind and hydro generation opportunities. CC&L Infrastructure, an investor in mid-market infrastructure and infrastructure-like assets, is part of Canadian asset manager Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group Ltd.


Robotics maker Avidbots closes $23.6 million Series B round

Kitchener, Ontario-based robotics company Avidbots has secured $23.6 million in a Series B financing. True Ventures, a U.S. venture capital firm, led the round, which brings Avidbots’ total funding to $36 million. Joining the deal were existing investors, including GGV Capital, SOSV, Real Ventures and 500 Startups Canada, as well as new investors, including Next47, BDC Capital and KCPL. Founded in 2014 by CEO Faizan Sheikh and CTO Pablo Molina, Avidbots designs and makes autonomous connected robots. Its first product, Neo, is a robotic floor scrubber deployed in commercial locations worldwide. The funds raised will be used for global growth and to invest in talent acquisition, engineering, marketing and sales.

CDPQ acquires stake in Hilco Global, will invest in special situations

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has acquired a 27 percent stake in Hilco Trading LLC (Hilco Global), a Northbrook, Illinois-based financial services firm. Terms weren’t disclosed for the deal, which initiates a long-term partnership between the two organizations. It will see CDPQ target annual investments of about US$150 million, alongside Hilco Global, in distressed assets and other special situations. CDPQ Vice President and Head of Private Equity Stéphane Etroy said the Canadian pension system’s long-term strategy aligns with Hilco Global’s role in transitioning “existing and often undervalued assets into profitable use.”

May River-backed Hunt Valve acquires Montreal Bronze

Hunt Valve Co has acquired Montreal Bronze Ltd, a Terrebonne, Québec-based supplier of severe-duty bronze marine valves used in naval and commercial ships. No financial terms were disclosed. Established in 1985 and led by President David Bala, Montreal Bronze also provides bronze and alloy steel products for naval, pharmaceutical and nuclear applications. Hunt Valve, a Salem, Ohio-based specialty valve maker, said the deal expands its product offering and provides access to additional U.S. Navy and international shipyards and industrial customers. Hunt Valve was recapitalized last year by U.S. private equity firm May River Capital.

Align Capital’s Pleatco buys Milton Manufacturing

Pleatco LLC has acquired Milton Manufacturing Inc, a Milton, Ontario-based provider of spun bond, paper, felt and pleated bag filters for original equipment manufacturers. Terms weren’t disclosed. Led by President Dave Brunner, Milton serves the dust collection needs of customers in North America. Pleatco, a Louisville, Kentucky-based maker of aftermarket cartridge filters for the pool and spa industry, said the purchase of Milton and APEL International Inc enables its entry into the industrial air filtration market. Pleatco has been backed since 2017 by U.S. private equity firm Align Capital Partners.