Canadian M&A activity soars as energy sector fuels growth: Reuters

(Reuters) – The value of Canadian mergers and acquisitions more than doubled to US$149.8 billion in the first nine months of 2014, fueled by robust deal activity in the energy sector, according to figures released by Thomson Reuters on Thursday.

Royal Bank of Canada‘s RBC Capital Markets led the pack advising for M&A deals as well as debt issuance, the Thomson Reuters league tables data showed. The investment banking arm of Canada’s biggest bank was involved in 41 M&A deals valued at US$43.6 billion. Barclays Plc finished second and JPMorgan Chase & Co was third.

Rising levels of production, a weak Canadian dollar and strong earnings have driven growth in the oil and gas industry.

Encana Corp was among the most acquisitive Canadian companies this year, with highlights including its plans to purchase Athlon Energy Inc for US$5.93 billion and its US$3.1 billion acquisition of some of the U.S. shale assets of Freeport-McMoran Inc.

The biggest deal so far is Burger King Worldwide Inc‘s planned purchase of Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons Inc for $12.64 billion (US$11.53 billion), a move that would create the world’s third-largest fast-food restaurant group.

Debt issuance, which was also led by RBC, reached $127.6 billion in the nine-month period, little changed from the previous year. TD Securities and CIBC World Markets rounded out the top three.

Scotiabank was the top investment bank advising equity deals, followed by RBC and BMO Capital Markets. The total value of equity issues was $33.2 billion, up nearly 54 percent from the same period last year. Scotiabank advised equity deals worth $5.4 billion.

(Reporting by John Tilak; Editing by David Gregorio)

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