Need a Source? Corporate Canada Losing Ground in the Global M&A Market



    Local companies are easy victims of foreign takeovers and too shackled to
    compete in the Global M&A game, according to new research by SECOR
    Consulting

    TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Concerns about the sale of large Canadian
companies are not unfounded, according to research presented today by SECOR
Consulting, a leading Canadian-based international strategy boutique.
    As industries restructure globally, Canada is falling behind. While there
are many acquisitions abroad by Canadian companies as well as foreign
takeovers, Canada is a net seller. In fact, Canada has become the largest net
seller of the current cycle, in relative terms. Moreover, existing government
and business policies make Canadian companies easier to acquire than their
counterparts in other jurisdictions and less competitive in the global market
for corporate control.
    From 2005-2007, Canada's net spending deficit in the market for corporate
control was over US$ 24.3 billion. On the sell side, losses involve companies
in important sectors for Canada such as basic materials, energy and
technology, including Alcan Inc., Western Oil Sands, Falconbridge Ltd., Inco
Inc., Dofasco and Cognos, to name a few. On the buy side, Canadian companies
are failing to keep up as global consolidation "raises the bar" on the
requirements for M&A competitiveness.
    Today, senior public and private sector executives and policy analysts,
including Ken Smith, Chair of SECOR Consulting, will examine the facts and
implications of foreign takeovers and Canada's competitive position in global
M&A markets at a conference organized by SECOR Consulting and the Conference
Board of Canada.
    Original research will separate fact from fiction, and the experts will
discuss the issues, providing a comprehensive analysis of this phenomenon,
which is of crucial concern to Canadians.
    Ken Smith is available for comment following the conference today at 2
p.m. (EST) and can provide a unique perspective on SECOR's findings as well as
insights into today's panel discussions. Ken is able to speak to a range of
issues, including:

    
    -  SECOR's own research and analysis highlighting a growing imbalance in
       the global restructuring and Canada's net M&A deficit
    -  Canada's weak defence: How regulatory and investment review policies
       and governance practices, are helping make Canadian companies easier
       to buy than their peers in other jurisdictions
    -  Canada's disadvantages on offence: Canadian firms are at a
       disadvantage in a number of areas related to scale, productivity and
       cost of capital. While there may have been a lack of ambition in some
       cases, Canadian leaders are also disadvantaged by policies that have
       kept companies small while international competitors have grown.
    

    Smith has been a strategy consultant for over 20 years, with a focus on
issues of corporate development, i.e., mergers, acquisitions, divestitures,
alliances, overall business strategy in restructuring industries. His
perspectives on value creation in corporate development have been widely
published and referenced in the international business press. His academic
background includes a PhD in Mathematics and an MBA from the University of
Toronto. He also holds an ICD.D.
    For more information on today's event please visit:
http://www.conferenceboard.ca/conf/jan08/hollowing/agenda.pdf

    About SECOR Consulting:

    Founded in Montreal in 1975, SECOR is now Canada's largest independent
strategy consulting firm, with offices in Toronto, Montreal, Paris and New
York.
    SECOR has been helping businesses - including leading Canadian
corporations, subsidiaries of leading multi-nationals, large government
agencies and crown corporations - for over 30 years. Over this period, the
firm has built a reputation for facts-based, independent analysis and
pragmatic solutions.




For further information:

For further information: To arrange an interview with Ken please contact
Erin O'Reilly, Media Profile, (416) 504-8464, erin@mediaprofile.com

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