Canadian CEOs more bullish on expansion using M&A than G7 and US counterparts: PwC global study

TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - A slower economy is not stopping Canadian CEOs from using mergers and acquisitions as a key growth strategy, as their desire to expand into foreign markets grows. This is according to the 15th Annual Global CEO Survey conducted by PwC, which compared the views of 130 chief executives in Canada to their counterparts around the world. The findings are featured in PwC's Capital Markets Flash newsletter

Canadian CEOs are more bullish on the future, compared with their G7 and US counterparts. One quarter of Canadian CEOs surveyed are planning to engage in M&A, compared to the global average of just 12%. Canadian CEOs also have a stronger appetite for joint ventures and/or strategic alliances than their developed world peers.

"During 2011 we saw how Canadians stepped outside their comfort zone and onto the global stage. Canadian CEOs are not in a 'wait and see' mode—they are planning for more expansion outside of this country in 2012. Our CEOs were active in 10% of the total global M&A market last year, up from 7% at the 2007 market peak," says Canadian Deals Leader Kristian Knibutat.

Some highlights from the Canadian participants in the survey include:

  • 73% are confident in their ability to finance growth

  • 71% of CEOs with operations in Western Europe expect growth in their operations in 2012, compared to just 36% of their global peers expressing the same sentiment.

  • 45% wish they could spend more time developing operations outside their home markets

Knibutat says there are a number of examples which point to a transformation in deal making in Canada. Last year was the first time in history that the value of Canadian acquisitions into the US outpaced the value of US-lead deals in Canada.

The survey also finds that Canadian CEOs are still concerned about the global macroeconomic environment, with only 13% expressing optimism about the prospects for a global economic rebound. The threats of continued equity market and foreign exchange rate volatility and protectionism, in particular, were top of mind.

A key finding is that a majority of Canadian chief executives (66%) anticipate that their companies will change strategic course in 2012. "We believe this is likely a reaction to concerns that CEOs have over a challenging global economy and an acceptance of slower domestic growth," says Knibutat.

Survey Methodology

For PwC's 15th Annual Global CEO Survey, 1,258 interviews were conducted in 60 countries in the last quarter of 2011. In Canada, 130 CEOs were surveyed. 291 interviews were conducted in Western Europe, 440 in Asia Pacific, 150 in Latin America, 236 in North America, 88 in Central and Eastern Europe, and 53 in the Middle East & Africa.

The full survey report with supporting graphics can be downloaded at Follow the discussion on Twitter with #ceo_survey. Copies are also available from the media contacts.

About PwC's Deal Team

PwC's Deal Team ( 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.

Follow PwC on Twitter at @PwC_Canada_LLP and on Facebook at

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 close to 169,000 people in 158 countries. Find out more by visiting us at

© 2012 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 for further details.

1 Source: Kennedy;"Business Advisory Services Marketplace 2009-2011" ©BNA Subsidiaries, LLC. Reproduced under license.


For further information:

David Rowney
T: +1 416 365 8858

Kiran Chauhan
T: +1 416 947 8983

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