| NEW YORK/TORONTO
NEW YORK/TORONTO Jan 5 Morgan Stanley,
Barclays Plc and Royal Bank of Canada took the
top spots advising Canadian mergers and acquisitions in 2016 as
deals in the pipeline, power and utility sectors propelled deal
volume to a nine-year high.
Deal value climbed 8.3 percent to $250.7 billion last year,
from 2015 levels, according to data released by Thomson Reuters.
A number of large transactions, including Enbridge Inc's
planned acquisition of Spectra Energy Corp for
about $28 billion and a proposed merger between fertilizer
producers Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc and Agrium
Inc, drove deal activity to the second strongest year
on record, after 2007.
Other major deals - such as TransCanada Corp's
acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group, Fortis Inc's
acquisition of ITC Holdings - involved Canadian companies
looking outside the country for growth. That often meant south
of the border.
"Canadian investors are once again focused on the United
States, and this will be an overarching theme in 2017," said
Bruce Rothney, chief executive of Barclays Canada.
"The Trump presidency - and with it the promise of reforms
in regulation, taxation and infrastructure spending - will
accelerate activity in 2017/18," he said.
In the rankings, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and
Bank of Montreal rounded out the top six. Among
Canadian banks, RBC, BMO and CIBC were the top advisers.
RBC also advised on the highest number of transactions.
A pickup in mining M&A and a steady stream of energy deals
ensured that the resource sectors found their footing this year.
"In the low commodity price environment, we have seen some
companies suffer and other companies on a relative basis gain
advantage," said Dougal Macdonald, president of Morgan Stanley
"Those who have relative advantage have become consolidators
and those who suffered have become targets," Macdonald added.
The energy sector benefited from deals in the midstream
"Notwithstanding the significant correction in oil prices
over the last couple of years, energy M&A activity has held up
pretty well," said Peter Buzzi, co-head of Canadian M&A at RBC.
Large deals played an outsized role in helping boost deal
growth, said Daniel Barclay, head of investment and corporate
banking, Canada and international, at BMO Capital Markets.
BMO sees strong inbound and outbound activity in both the
energy and mining sectors in 2017, Barclay said, adding that the
Trump presidency could also create opportunities for deals.
(Editing by Leslie Adler)