Canada proxy firm Kingsdale plans U.S. push with or without M&A

Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:43pm EDT
 
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian proxy solicitation firm Kingsdale Shareholder Services still plans to expand in the United States after merger and acquisition talks with rivals there failed to produce a deal, its top executive said on Monday.

The Toronto-based firm, majority-owned by MDC Partners Inc MDCA.O MDZa.TO, was close to finalizing a deal with one potential target this year but the two sides could not reach an agreement, said Chief Executive Wes Hall, who declined to specify which company it was.

Kingsdale is now aiming to pick up market share and hire talent from some of its U.S. peers.

“We can’t just sit around and wait for an acquisition to show up. We have to start organically,” Hall said in an interview.

“Even though we’re not necessarily going out there and buying a company, we’re certainly out there actively seeking to acquire talent. That’s where we’re going to spend most of our time on.”

Kingsdale opened its first U.S. office in New York in March this year.

Hall acknowledged that it could be challenging to grow in the competitive U.S. market without an acquisition, which could provide instant access to new customers.

It is taking time for U.S. companies to recognize that the conditions for shareholder activism and other corporate governance situations are similar in the United States and Canada, he said.   Continued...

 
Wes Hall, chief executive of Kingsdale Shareholder Services, speaks at his office in Toronto, Ontario, September 28, 2015.   REUTERS/John Tilak