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MaRS Cleantech Fund LP has announced the closing of a deal involving Woodland Biofuels Inc., a privately owned company that has developed low-cost process technology for producing cellulosic ethanol from waste biomass. The financing of  Mississauga, Ontario-based Woodland is the third disclosed by MaRS Cleantech Fund since its C$30 million closing in March. The fund is the product of a strategic relationship between the MaRS Discovery District, a Canadian innovation centre, and private investors.
Pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec announced it has made a private placement in Calgary, Alberta-based oil sands developer MEG Energy Corp. The investment, totaling C$400 million, is expected to close before the end of this year. MEG Energy was formerly backed by private equity investors KERN Partners and Warburg Pincus. The company completed a C$700 million IPO in 2010.
Laval, Québec-based Warnex Inc., a provider of laboratory services to companies in life sciences sectors, has completed the previously announced sale of its bioanalytical services division to privately owned French research firm Biotrial Research S.A.S. The transaction provided a partial exit to Persistance Capital Partners, a Canadian private equity investor focusing on opportunities in the healthcare field.
Toronto-based Fiera Axium Infrastructure Inc. announced the first closing of its latest partnership, Fiera Axium Infrastructure North America LP, totaling C$200 million. Fiera's first private equity fund, which was focused on core infrastructure opportunities in Canada, closed last year at C$460 million. The new partnership will focus on comparable investments throughout North America. In support of this new mandate, Fiera has established an office in New York, and has hired Paulo Arencibia, formerly of BNP Paribas.
Canopy Labs Inc., a provider of customer data and analysis for small and medium-sized businesses, has received seed financing totaling C$1.5 million from a mix of Canadian and U.S. venture capital investors. According to a report by the Toronto Star, Thornhill, Ontario-based Canopy has been backed by BDC Venture Capital IT Fund, California-based Valar Ventures, and several angel investors. Canopy, which was founded earlier this year, is a recent graduate of the Y Combinator program, a startup accelerator program located in Silicon Valley.
A private equity fund managed by Desjardins Capital de risque, in partnership with Vision Globale Inc., a Montréal provider of technical film and TV post-production services, acquired three high-profile movie-making enterprises -- Studios Mel’s La Cité du Cinéma, Locations Michel Trudel and Les Génératrices Star (1997). While the total transaction value was not disclosed, Desjardins' ownership interest was put at C$23 million. In September, Vision Globale also received an investment from Capital croissance PME, a fund managed by Desjardins and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
Calgary, Alberta-based Progress Energy Resources Corp. announced the completion of its purchase by PETRONAS, a Malaysian oil and gas company, for C$5.2 billion. The two companies entered into an acquisition agreement in June 2012. Progress Energy, which engages in the exploration, development and production of natural gas in Western Canada, obtained a significant equity investment from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in 2010.
Canadian pension fund organization the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has made an investment in Morgan Schaffer Corp., which provides insulating oil testing services to businesses in the electrical industry. LaSalle, Québec-based Morgan Schaffer obtained a combined C$5.7 million in private equity and a loan from the Caisse. The proceeds will be used to fund the company's global expansion plans.
DIRTT Environmental Solutions Ltd., a private Calgary, Alberta-based firm that manufactures and distributes interior construction solutions, has received C$20 million in financing from  Kayne Anderson Mezzanine Partners, a mid-market private equity investor based in Los Angeles. DIRTT Environmental Solutions has since 2011 been backed by a number of Canadian and U.S. venture capital investors, including Apex Venture Partners,  EDC Equity Fund, Expansion Capital Partners, NGEN Partners and North Sky Capital.
GoodLife Fitness Centers Inc., a privately owned company which operates a chain of fitness clubs across Canada, has acquired seven independent Gold's Gym locations in Alberta and Ontario.  Based in London, Ontario, GoodLife Fitness has since 2006 been backed by Canadian private equity funds, including Penfund and Manulife Capital. The company's CEO, David Patchell-Evans, was Canada's Venture Capital and Private Equity Association's "Entrepreneur of the Year" in 2010.
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