By all accounts, 2014 will be a banner year for Canada’s private equity market. The whole story will be told when Thomson Reuters publishes its year-end market report in the coming weeks. In the meantime, peHUB Canada has compiled a list of the likely top 10 (disclosed) Canadian deals in 2014. As expected, the Tim Hortons‘ merger topped the list; however, as peHUB Canada reported in December, many of the biggest transactions were located in the energy industry.
(1) Tim Hortons-Burger King merger
The $12.6 billion combination of Tim Hortons with 3G Capital-backed Burger King, was not only Canada’s top PE deal last year, it was one of the largest in the global market. Creating the world’s third-largest fast-food restaurant group, the new entity has its headquarters in Oakville, Ontario. 3G Capital, a U.S. private equity firm with Brazilian roots, is the majority owner.
(2) Jupiter Resources acquisition
Calgary-based oil and gas company Jupiter Resources in December 2014 completed its previously announced acquisition of Encana Corp‘s Bighorn assets in the Alberta Deep Basin. The final price tag: $2 billion. Jupiter is a portfolio investment of U.S. private equity firm Apollo Global Management.
(3) Patheon take-private deal
Patheon, a drug development and manufacturing services provider, was taken private last March in a deal that valued the business at US$1.4 billion. The Canadian-born company was then amalgamated with a subsidiary of DPx, formed by U.S. private equity firm JLL Partners and Dutch food and chemicals group Royal DSM.
(4) Atrium Innovations take-private deal
In early 2014, European private equity firm Permira Funds led the take-private acquisition of natural health products manufacturer Atrium Innovations. The transaction valued the Québec City-based company at $1.1 billion. Existing investors the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Fonds de solidarité FTQ backed the buyout.
(5) Lululemon Athletica minority investment
Between 2005 and 2009, Vancouver-based yoga gear retailer Lululemon Athletica was a portfolio company of U.S. private equity firm Advent International. In August 2014, Advent returned, investing US$845 million to obtain a minority interest in Lululemon. The interest was sold by the company’s founder Dennis “Chip” Wilson.
(6) CNOR founding investment
Canadian Non-Operated Resources (CNOR), a newly founded Calgary oil and gas company, secured an equity investment totaling $675 million last August. U.S. private equity firm Riverstone Holdings led the deal, with other investors including an unnamed Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund and Canadian energy investment firm Grafton Asset Management.
(7) Ember Resources add-on deals
Ember Resources, a Calgary coal-bed methane producer, closed two acquisitions in 2014 with the support of Brookfield Asset Management‘s private equity group. In May, the company bought Encana Corp‘s Nevis assets, and in October, it agreed to buy Encana’s Clearwater assets. The Alberta-based purchases have a combined value of $656 million.
8) CHC Helicopter shares purchase
U.S. private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice in December took a substantial stake in CHC Group, buying up to $600 million in convertible preferred shares. The Vancouver-based business, which provides flight services to energy companies and search-and-rescue agencies, has been a portfolio investment of First Reserve Corp since 2008.
9) CSV Midstream Solutions investment
In May, CSV Midstream Solutions entered into a strategic investment partnership with U.S. private equity firm Apollo Global Management. Under the terms of the deal, Apollo agreed to commit US$500 million in equity funding to support the Calgary company’s construction and operation of midstream facilities in Western Canada.
10) Veresen Midstream acquisition
In 2014’s final days, Veresen Midstream, a joint venture of Canadian energy infrastructure business Veresen and U.S. private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), agreed to buy natural gas facilities in British Columbia. KKR put $500 million to work in the joint venture, which will pay the seller, Encana Corp, $412 million plus costs.
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