Big deals are back in the industrial manufacturing sector

Global deals shine, while Canada lags behind in Q1 deal activity: PwC report

TORONTO, June 6, 2011 /CNW/ - A significant increase in merger and acquisition (M&A) volume and value in Q1 2011 signals a positive outlook for global industrial manufacturing (IM) deal activity. According to a new PwC report, the last quarter saw 36 deals above US$50 million take place globally, amounting to US$16.6 billion. This is a significant increase of 157% in volume and 622% in value from the same period in 2010, which saw 14 deals totalling just US$2.3 billion.

"We're seeing two interesting trends in deal activity with Canada on one side of the spectrum and global results on the other. Canada is holding steady with recent years with a moderate level of deal activity, yet deal volumes and values globally took off this quarter," says Damian Peluso, partner in PwC's deal practice.

Canadian results show domestic IM companies are dragging their heels on M&A activity when compared to their global counterparts. Canadian M&A activity remained flat with recent years this past quarter with 15 announced deals valued at US$69 million. This is similar to Q1 2010 when there were 15 transactions with a combined value of US$78 million.

The largest Canadian deal of the quarter was a private equity exit with Clairvest Group Inc. and Clairvest Equity Partners selling Van-Rob Inc.—a supplier to major automobile manufacturers—to Germany's Kirchhoff Automotive for US$35.8 million.

So far in the second quarter, however, Canadian deal activity has mirrored the global trend of large deal values. Q2 2011 has seen two large Canadian deals valued at more than US$500 million take place. The first was Berkshire Partners and OMERS' announced acquisition of Husky Injection Molding Systems for US$2.1 billion. The other was Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund's acquisition of Marsulex Inc. for US$546 million. Both deals were exits of private equity investments.

"The outlook looks positive for continued deal activity in the coming months both in Canada and certainly on a global-scale," says Calum Semple, national industrial manufacturing leader, PwC. "The rising Canadian dollar and shrinking profit margins due to rising commodity prices may drive more consolidation in the Canadian industrial manufacturing market."

PwC expects four key themes for the Canadian IM sector for the remainder of 2011:

1)  Strength of Canadian dollar means greater purchasing power: According to Peluso, "The strong Canadian dollar should allow Canadian manufacturers to go shopping for new equipment to re-tool plants and automate manual processes.  Both steps could lead to gains in efficiency and profit margins."

2)     Knock on effects from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami: The continuing effects from the natural disaster in Japan are expected to impact domestic auto production until at least mid 2011.  As a result, North American auto manufacturers are seeing an increase in demand for their products, which could make them more attractive takeover targets.  Production delays are expected to moderate by mid-year as several Japanese auto manufacturers are anticipating significant improvements in parts supply.

3)     M&A to combat declining margins and to get back in the driver's seat: The rising Canadian dollar and high commodity prices have squeezed profit margins in the manufacturing sector.  "We expect firms to pursue M&A in an effort to cut costs and to become more competitive on a global scale," says Peluso.

4)     Trend of shedding non-core assets to continue: Canadian manufacturers are expected to continue to shed non-core assets in a bid to improve operating margins and performance.  These may be legacy assets or are no longer central to the business model.  With some companies having held on to these assets since prior to the downturn, the uptick in valuations presents an opportunity to obtain fair value for these assets.

For a copy of Assembling Value, PwC's quarterly analysis of M&A activity in the global Industrial Manufacturing sector, visit:

http://www.pwc.com/us/en/industrial-products/publications/assembling-value.jhtml

About PwC's Deal Team

PwC's Deal 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 practice , and with our global Corporate Finance group being 2010 Upper Mid Market M&A Advisor of the Year , the PwC Canada Deals Team is your gateway to an exciting new world of emerging M&A opportunities.

Firm Description

PwC firms provide industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to enhance value for their clients. More than 161,000 people in 154 countries in firms across the PwC network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice. See www.pwc.com for more information. In Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (www.pwc.com/ca) and its related entities have more than 5,800 partners and staff in offices across the country.

"PwC" is the brand under which member firms of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwCIL) operate and provide services. Together, these firms form the PwC network. Each firm in the network is a separate legal entity and does not act as agent of PwCIL or any other member firm. PwCIL does not provide any services to clients. PwCIL is not responsible or liable for the acts or omissions of any of its member firms nor can it control the exercise of their professional judgment or bind them in any way.

Note to Editors: PwC has changed its name from PricewaterhouseCoopers to PwC in the fall of 2010. 'PwC' is written in text with a capital 'P' and capital 'C'. Only when you use the PwC logo is the name represented in lower case.

"PwC" refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, which is a member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each member firm of which is a separate legal entity.

SOURCE PwC

For further information:

Jessica Draker, PwC
Tel: 613 755 8706
email: jessica.l.draker@ca.pwc.com

OR:

Kiran Chauhan, PwC
Tel: 416 947 8983
email: kiran.chauhan@ca.pwc.com

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PwC

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