Goldman led Canadian pack in value of M&A deals in 2014
By Euan Rocha and John Tilak
TORONTO (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote) led investment banks advising on mergers and acquisitions in Canada in 2014, a year in which big international oil and gas deals were hot before oil prices turned cold.
Before the fourth-quarter collapse of oil prices, Canadian M&A activity last year was dominated by big energy-sector deals such as Spanish oil giant Repsol SA's (REP.MC: Quote) $8.3 billion bid for Talisman Energy TLM.TO and Encana Corp's (ECA.TO: Quote) $5.9 billion buyout of U.S. rival Athlon.
According to data released by Thomson Reuters on Thursday, the total value of M&A deals in Canada in 2014 jumped to $203.1 billion from $147.2 billion in 2013, with Goldman and its international peers enjoying a banner year. Goldman advised on deals worth $56 billion, including Talisman in the Repsol bid.
"Canada has been dominated by cross-border activity this year," said David Rawlings, head of JPMorgan's Canadian operations. "We feel like the M&A environment - for energy and other sectors - will remain constructive in 2015, although the drivers of the activity may change."
The top six spots on the Canadian M&A league tables were captured by Goldman, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote), Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote), Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote) and Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE: Quote).
Bankers at both the large international and Canadian banks remain optimistic about 2015, despite weak resource prices.
"I think 2015 will be a solid year and it may surprise on the upside," said Bruce Rothney, head of Barclays Canada.
Despite the few mega deals in which global banks played a significant role, Canadian banks RBC, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) and CIBC (CM.TO: Quote) advised on the vast majority of transactions in 2014. Continued...