Deal values in the Canadian buyout and private equity market were particularly strong in Q4 2019, according to final data released by Refinitiv, with $27.4 billion invested across 136 transactions. That result brought total announced and deployed amounts for the year to $46.0 billion in 514 deals, an all-time high in dollar terms. Values at the end of December were up 22 percent compared to 2018, while deal volumes increased 25 percent. Canadian PE investors also participated in cross-border transactions worth $154 billion in 2019, the largest amount ever recorded.
A full PDF report of 2019 Canadian buyout and private equity market activity by Refinitiv is available here.
Canada buyout and related deal values total $46.0 Billion in 2019
Canadian buyout and related investments ended the year strong, with CA$27.4 billion of deal values recorded across 138 rounds either announced or completed between October and December. This brought the overall total for the year to CA$46.0 billion over 514 rounds, marking the third consecutive year of growth and an increase in year-over-year volumes of 25% and values of 22%.
Five rounds with values of CA$1 billion or more were announced in the fourth quarter of the year with combined deal values of CA$7.4 billion. This included the agreement to take Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay private by a group of investors including Rhone Capital, WeWork Property Advisors, Hanover Investments, Abrams Capital, and executive chairman Richard Baker. The deal valued the business at approximately CA$2 billion and is still awaiting shareholder approval with a vote scheduled for early 2020. Calgary-based natural gas and renewable power business AltaGas also agreed to a CA$1.7 billion takeover by PSP Investments and Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board in October, with an expected completion date in the first half of 2020.
While the number of Canadian buyout deals were up 25% year-over-year, the overall number of Canadian M&A transactions declined by 9% in the same period, resulting in the share of PE-backed deals increasing to 25% of total Canada dealmaking, up from 17% just one year ago.
A total of 30 Canadian buyout and related funds recorded closes in 2019, raising CA$21.1 billion, an increase in values of 22% and 57% from 2018 and 2017 figures, respectively. Fundraising was led by Altas Partners’ sophomore fund, which was oversubscribed and closed at its hard cap of CA$4.0 billion, and Brookfield Capital Partners V which was also oversubscribed and raised CA$2.8 during the year bringing its total commitments to CA$11.8 billion.
Canadian companies completed 70 PE-backed exits over the course of 2019 valued at CA$13.6 billion, resulting in a 25% decrease in values and a 10% decrease in volumes when compared to 2018. The largest exit of the year was announced in the fourth quarter, with the merger between online gambling giants The Stars Group and Flutter Entertainment having a purchase price of CA$8.1 billion.