90 days, 679 deals, $41.6 billion: Quiet first quarter for Canadian M&A, but return of resource deals encouraging

Top 10 largest deals included three in the energy sector, which returned to the top slot by value for the first time since Q4 2012

TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Although Canadian M&A activity in Q1 2014 saw a decline in both deal value and volume from Q4 2013, a PwC report released today states that due to encouraging signs in the resource sectors, there is reason to be optimistic.

According to PwC's Capital Markets Flash, overall deal volume in Q1 was down 5% from Q4 of last year, while deal value sank by 6%. Year-over-year comparisons, however, were much more positive in both areas, with volume up nearly 20% from Q1 2013 and value increasing by 12%.

While Q1's largest deal came out of the pharmaceuticals sector with Forest Labs' $2.9 billion acquisition of Quebec-based Aptalis Holdings Inc., it was the resource industries that ultimately claimed the spotlight. Of the top 10 deals by value, three were in energy, making it the strongest sector of the quarter for the first time since Q4 2012. And the battle for control of Osisko Mining Corporation between hostile Goldcorp and "white knight" Yamana Gold showed a resurgence of mining activity after a slow period.

"Although the numbers for this quarter are not great, strength in energy and a potential resurgence in mining suggest that M&A activity may finally be looking at the upswing we've been anticipating for some time," says Nicolas Marcoux, Canadian Deals Leader, PwC. "However, predicting the impact of the falling Loonie on M&A activity is a little more complex."

Also in this quarter's Capital Markets Flash:

  • Tumbling Loonie: The report analyzes both the pros and cons of Canada's falling dollar, and outlines which sectors stand to benefit and those that may face challenges.
  • Spotlight on Vancouver: This quarter, the Capital Markets Flash looks at the M&A market in Vancouver and what trends may lie ahead.
  • Shareholder Activism: This spotlight dives deeper into shareholder activism and examines the drivers of this market trend and the impact it is having on deal value in Canada.

For more information, including a full copy of PwC's Capital Markets Flash, please visit: http://www.pwc.com/ca/deals. A copy of the report is also available from the media contacts. Note all dollar figures are in US dollars.

Follow PwC on Twitter at @PwC_Canada_LLP and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pwccanada.

About PwC's Deals Team
PwC's Deals Team (www.pwc.com/ca/deals) helps clients to achieve deal success — from concept to close and beyond. As part of the world's largest Transaction Advisory practice1, the PwC Canada Deals Team is your gateway to an exciting new world of emerging M&A opportunities.

1 Source: Kennedy; "Business Advisory Services Marketplace 2012"; © BNA Subsidiaries, LLC. Reproduced under license. 

About PwC Canada
PwC Canada helps organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. More than 5,700 partners and staff in offices across the country are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax, consulting and deals services. PwC Canada is a member of the PwC network of firms with more than 184,000 people in 157 countries. Find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com/ca.

© 2014 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership. All rights reserved.

PwC refers to the Canadian member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

SOURCE PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)

For further information: Emily Abrahams, T: +1 416 814 5734, Email: emily.r.abrahams@ca.pwc.com; Kiran Chauhan, T: +1 416 947 8983, Email: kiran.chauhan@ca.pwc.com